Highland Council have cut the grant to Eden Court by 17% – equal to a cut of £100,000 in funding for the arts centre.
Commenting on the amendment presented by the SNP group, and accepted by Highland Council's Independent administration, Aird & Loch Ness Lib Dem Councillor Jean Davis said:
“I was alarmed by the proposal to further cut Eden Court funding as part of the SNP’s budget amendments presented to council. As a Highlander, it was obvious that there would be unintended consequences to those who use the facilities provided by Eden Court.
“People often forget the vital educational role the organisation plays. It is nationally recognised as a superb arts and education centre. For the council support to be cut over and above what was expected, and with no advanced warning, will significantly impact education services in the short term. Potentially limiting the access of our children to facilities allowing them to discover and hone their talents. This has impact both as part of the curriculum and reduced activities during the holidays.
“Eden Court is not just a 'nice to have' for entertainment it is a vital service supporting our children and young people to learn and to grow.
“I would like to commend Eden Court on their measured response to the unexpected cuts to their funding. It is to their credit that, instead of shouting loud they have simply moved forward to inform their service users and to rationally consider what has to be done.
“Eden Court’s professionalism will stand them in good stead for the future but meanwhile we must be aware that because of what was decided last week there will be consequences for the education and development of young people in the Highlands.”