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Moving Funding Out of the Capital is 'Punishing' London Says Tamara Rojo

Rojo will leave English National Ballet this week after 10 years as Artistic Director

Moving Funding Out of the Capital is 'Punishing' London Says Tamara Rojo

As she prepares to leave the English National Ballet, Tamara Rojo has said that moving arts funding away from London is "punishing" the capital, in an interview on BBC Radio 4.

The outgoing Artistic Director at English National Ballet says she is worried about the UK's future as a global centre for culture.

As part of the most recent Arts Council England funding decisions, one fifth of the money that used to go to institutions in the capital will be directed elsewhere by 2026, which amounts to an extra £43m a year going into culture provision outside London.

Tens of millions have been cut from some of the capital's best known institutions and some have lost funding altogether. English National Ballet will see a 5% drop in income.

She supported greater investment across the country, but not "at the expense of London", adding that is not going to help the UK. She said: "I'm not sure that punishing London is going to help anybody else."

Tamara Rojo arrived in the UK as an unknown dancer more than 25 years ago, becoming principal first at the Royal Ballet and then the ENB. She has been Artistic Director for ten years, bringing huge success to the company. But she said that current immigration rules may have prevented her from coming to this country in the first place due to post-Brexit rules which do not allow freedom of movement from the EU.

"I would not have passed the English test. And since I hadn't achieved anything yet, I would not have had the points" [to get a visa] she said.

Rojo leaves English National Ballet this week for San Francisco Ballet after ten years at the helm.

Listen to the full interview on BBC Sounds

Photo Credit: Karolina Kuras

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