Save Southport Art

Due to cuts in education an axe is about to fall on the Art Department at Southport College, which is a vital centre of art and creativity in the local community. With many students, excellent facilities and over eighty years of history and dedicated staff, the department is not only a local asset but a beacon of education in Art and Design across the North West.

At a time when creativity in Southport is blossoming as never before, with the R Gallery, the Waterfront Arts Gallery and the forthcoming Hub Gallery, it would seem absurd to disturb this process which promises the rejuvination of Southport into a great Northern cultural centre. As such, to tear apart the team of committed staff and students at Southport College, which is a catalyst for creativity and productivity in the local art community would be unjustifiable, and no less than an act of cultural vandalism.

Severe job cuts are proposed which will reduce the department's staffing to 58% of 2009 staffing, with almost half of the college's Art staff suffering redundancy. Additional proposals to reduce the amount of hours that a course is taught over will affect students learning, and the culling of additional subjects such as Life Drawing and Enrichment courses threatens to limit and curtail the wide range of opportunities that the department is able to offer to its students, when this wide range of courses has always been a great advantage of the department's. Additionally, the proposals would stop the College offering its B.A in Fine Art and would close down the ceramics facility, which is a real asset to the department.

What is under threat is the essence of the department: the staff who have made it what it is and maintain its quality, and the superb facilities which set Southport College's Art Department above the rest and outline it as providing a unique and rich learning experience, fuelled by diversity and creative opportunities.

If we pull together on this now and oppose these plans, then we can Save Southport Art from destruction and ensure that young people in the surrounding area are given as many opportunities to learn and succeed in Art and Design as they deserve, and we can ensure that our local art community continues to blossom and brings Southport back into the limelight.

We, the undersigned, oppose this unjustifiable swing of the economic axe and hope that by our pulling together on this, we can help to Save Southport Art.

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