October 26 is coming... AND it is going to be one of the most important, and potentially painful, watershed days in England's arts scene for years... that's because October 26 is the day that ACE (Arts Council England) announces its major three-year grants for ALL the arts organisations big and small across England - including opera houses, theatre groups, galleries, and presses like ours. It is a day when you will be seeing sadly many many organisations perhaps completely defunded or unfunded, due to the cuts from this current dysfunctional government - and a fortunate few announcing they have survived, and been given a new lease on life.
BSPG has been very transparent over the past years about our small press struggle with funding - and that sometimes unsettles authors who might prefer to consider their publishers invincible.
But small press publishing in England, in 2022, is incredibly fragile, and vulnerable, with inflation, the pound falling, mortgages rising, and many other factors - and without arts funding, difficult decisions will need to be made by hundreds, if not thousands, of arts organisations, hanging on by a thread, post-Brexit, post-Pandemic (which by the way is returning in the UK).
We would like to have cemented our 2023-25 schedule before now, but October 26 will impact us, no doubt about it. As all artists and creatives probably know, without arts funding, less happens, not more.
We wish all presses and organisations well as the big day approaches!