VAGA was forced to restructure after losing its grant-in-aid funding from ACE. Pictured: The South London Gallery

VAGA loses director in restructure

Geraldine Kendall, 08.02.2012
Visual arts association to have ACE funding cut in April
The Visual Arts and Galleries Association (VAGA) board has announced details of a restructure ahead of the loss of its £100,000 grant-in-aid funding from Arts Council England (ACE) in April.

Under the new model, VAGA director Hilary Gresty and administrator Alison Lawrence will be made redundant later this month.

A new role, VAGA coordinator, has been created and will be filled by freelance arts consultant Trevor Horsewood, who has been working in business development at the association until now. The association has moved its London office to the Camden Arts Centre.

In addition, VAGA Scotland is to break away and form a new organisation, the Scottish Contemporary Art Network (SCAN), which will receive funding directly from Creative Scotland.

VAGA chair Godfrey Worsdale said the two bodies would continue to work closely together for the wider interests of the sector.

In a letter sent out to members last week, Worsdale said that although the loss of funding would be very challenging, the restructure would give VAGA “an opportunity to become a truly independent and member-led organisation”.

The association appealed to its members for ongoing support. “Ironically, this comes at a time when an organisation like VAGA is increasingly important to the visual arts sector,” said Worsdale.

Museums Association director Mark Taylor said: "It is a great shame. VAGA have done much good work in supporting and promoting visual arts and I hope that under the new arrangements they can maintain their profile and energy. The MA will continue to work with VAGA where our interests coincide."

Taylor added: "It is a reminder for membership bodies that reliance on public funds for core funding is fraught with dangers and an illustration of why the MA values its financial independence so highly."

For more information, visit the VAGA website