Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Lack of money doesn't talk, it swears

Five Leaves receives some money from the Arts Council through the Grants for the Arts scheme. Not a lot but enough to publish books that are not very commercial, not a lot but enough to publish some material in translation, not a lot but enough to take on some new writers from time to time. Not a lot but enough to be able to employ 1.4 people; to be the biggest account for a small printer which in these times may need that account to ensure that five workers are kept in employment; to be the second biggest account for a small typesetting firm that would struggle to survive without our account. Though our distributor would survive without us, our sales year after year do contribute to their success. Our involvement with Lowdham Book Festival has helped the local bookshop to grow from being a hobby bookshop to one employing five or six women. I can't do the sums but every public pound invested pays off in the private sector. This is elementary economics but is lost on our current Government, whose hostility to the public sector will have a huge impact on the private sector.
Five Leaves' support from the Arts Council is not at risk, as far as I know, as it is lottery funded but Government cuts have ensured that many of the previous "Regularly Funded Organisations", including publishers, will close over the next few years. They will generally be much bigger organisations than Five Leaves, with a resulting much bigger knock on effect on the private sector.
These arguments have been rehearsed time and time again so nothing I say is new but needs said again and again and again.

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