John Leech backs Queer Up North
Lib Dem MP for Manchester Withington, John Leech, has moved an Early Day Motion in the Commons condemning the Arts Council's cut of funding for the It's Queer Up North arts organisation and festival. It has been a key part of the lesbian and gay cultural scene in the North West for over a decade.
John said, 'This is a massive blow to Manchester's arts scene. The Queer Up North festival is unique to Manchester and is held in high regard. However, because Queer Up North rely heavily on the Arts Council, it is unlikely that the festival will go ahead this year.
'This has a knock-on effect for smaller organisations and individuals. The Pansy Project has previously been able to tour across the world due to financial support from Queer Up North made available through the Arts Council.'
Early Day Motion EDM 702 "ARTS COUNCIL FUNDING AND QUEER UP NORTH" (15.01.2008) reads
"That this House condemns plans by the Arts Council to cut funding to Queer Up North; recognises the excellent work that organisation has done, including tackling homophobic bullying through performances of F.I.T. at local schools; notes with concern that funding cuts will lead to the cancellation of the 2008 festival in Manchester and all future touring plans, end its unique programme of work for young people and result in the immediate closure of the organisation; and therefore calls on the Arts Council to overturn its decision."