Tamara Rojo wades into bitter row over London arts funding | Tamara Rojo

One of many ballet world’s largest stars has accused Arts Council England of “simplistic” decision-making by transferring arts funding out of London.

Tamara Rojo, the outgoing creative director at English Nationwide Ballet, instructed the BBC that “punishing” the capital wouldn’t assist anybody, and expressed concern in regards to the UK’s future as a world centre for tradition.

A bitter battle has erupted over ACE’s choice to chop £50m a 12 months from arts organisations in London in its 2023-26 settlement to fulfil a authorities instruction to divert cash away from the capital as a part of the levelling up programme.

A variety of UK arts organisations have been eliminated solely from ACE’s nationwide portfolio, together with the English Nationwide Opera, which has had its £12.8m annual grant reduce to zero and instructed it should transfer exterior London – doubtlessly to Manchester – if it desires to qualify for future grants.

ENO chiefs have disputed the choice and mentioned it will decimate the 100 year-old firm. Public figures corresponding to Juliet Stevenson, Maxine Peake and Melvyn Bragg have lent their identify to protests, accusing ACE of “cultural vandalism”.

The Larger Manchester mayor, Andy Burnham, mentioned on Wednesday that the ENO was not welcome within the metropolis if it didn’t need to relocate there from London. “In the event that they assume we’re all heathens right here, that no one would go, I’m afraid it doesn’t perceive us and due to this fact doesn’t deserve to return right here,” he mentioned.

The ENO has mentioned it’s not in opposition to transferring to Manchester, however in opposition to ACE “arbitrarily plucking a location with none session” and proposing an “unrealistic timeframe”.

Rojo leaves the ENB for San Francisco Ballet this week after 10 years on the helm. The ENB will expertise a 5% drop in earnings.

The Spanish dancer, who arrived within the UK as a comparatively unknown determine earlier than changing into the principal on the Royal Ballet after which the ENB, mentioned cultural establishments in capital cities drive creativity and produce wealth, cohesion, identification, funding and tourism.

She mentioned she was very grateful to the UK as a result of “all the things that my profession has given me has been as a result of Britain opened its arms to a Spanish immigrant that didn’t communicate any English”.

However she mentioned post-Brexit visa guidelines risked stopping others like her from coming to the UK. “I might not have handed the English take a look at. And since I hadn’t achieved something but, I might not have had the factors” to get a visa, she mentioned.