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Eden Court Theatre may have to cut jobs after it loses funds

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Outreach drama teachers are believed to be among those in the firing line as bosses at the north’s top theatre consider staff redundancies.

Management at Eden Court Theatre in Inverness is consulting employees after £400,000 worth of funding was lost in the last year.

It is understood that outreach staff, understood to be more than six, who travel the Highlands teaching drama are among those being spoken to.

A statement issued by chief executive James Mackenzie-Blackman said: “Earlier in 2018, two months before the new financial year, Eden Court lost £400,000 of annual funding from the Highland Council and Creative Scotland.

“This represents a reduction of 40% in our public sector funding, coming as it does after cuts in previous years from Highland Council.

“We understand that our funders face difficult choices and there are no easy answers.

“However, these cuts are significant and in order to survive we are looking at all ways that we can generate additional, profitable, revenue and reduce costs.”

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He added: “We are consulting with some of our staff on a potential reorganisation which if implemented may result in redundancies.

“This reorganisation is one step towards mitigating the financial risk we are facing and to allow us to continue delivering a world-class programme of arts and culture for the people of the Highlands.

“We are committed to building on our existing work however we anticipate that some aspects of our programme will need to be redesigned and alternative sources of funding found.

“What we need most of all is the continuing support of our staff, our customers and the people of the Highlands which we serve.”

Liz Gordon, regional organiser for the GMB union, said: “It’s a great shame that outreach drama looks to be affected by these cutbacks. It’s such a valuable programme for those in rural Highlands.”

Inverness West Councillor Alex Graham said he was aware the theatre was consulting staff about job cuts.

He added: “Eden Court is facing having to cope with reductions in council and other grants.

“While I understand the pressures, it would be disappointing if people are to lose their jobs.

“It is always a concern when people are faced with uncertainty.”

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