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Hoskins blames festival for Lighthouse money woes

Six Cities Festival caused financial trouble at Scotland's Lighthouse, says Hoskins

Gareth Hoskins has blamed the Six Cities Design Festival for the troubles at The Lighthouse, just days after a financial plan to ensure the survival of Scotland’s national architecture centre was unveiled.

Last month the centre was forced to scrap the Six Cities Design Festival after the Scottish government refused to fund the £2.25 million programme, while in September, Hoskins’ Lighthouse-backed pavilion for the Venice Biennale ran £100,000 over budget.

Hoskins, the focus of a current Lighthouse exhibition and book, said: 'The project overspend [on the pavilion] was a one-off and minimal compared to the Six Cities programme. That’s the one that had the impact.'

The cash-strapped, Glasgow-based centre has undergone significant restructuring in recent weeks, resulting in nine redundancies, and has taken out extended council loans to keep itself afloat.

Last Friday (28 November), Glasgow City Council agreed to extend the £250,000 loan to the organisation – repayable with interest – in order to meet projected cash-flow shortfall for this financial year.

In addition, the council will also raise its core annual funding from £110,000 to £160,000 next year. This supports the £1.2 million The Lighthouse currently raise through commercial activilty. The Scottish government has also agreed to allow more flexibility in how The Lighthouse’s annual project funding is allocated.

The staff cuts include three redundancies from the Urban Learning Space, a specialist skills agency that will come under The Lighthouse’s remit under the new proposals. Other job losses will be retail and general admin positions.

‘It is a great grief to the board but it is one of those things,’ said Lighthouse Trust chairman Eleanor McAllister. 'We just could not sustain those positions.’ McAllister added that galleries on the ground and upper floors will be opened up to increase commercial activity.

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