Publisher in peril after funding axe

A HUNTINGDONSHIRE-based independent publisher says it has been left fighting for survival after the Arts Council announced it was withdrawing its funding. Eric Lane, of Dedalus Books, based in St Judith s Lane, Sawtry, said the loss of the £24,958 grant c

A HUNTINGDONSHIRE-based independent publisher says it has been left fighting for survival after the Arts Council announced it was withdrawing its funding.

Eric Lane, of Dedalus Books, based in St Judith's Lane, Sawtry, said the loss of the £24,958 grant could potentially force the closure of the press, which has been in business for 25 years.

Mr Lane, 58, said: "Dedalus is one of the most important independent literary publishers and translation houses in the UK and one of a dying breed.

"Dedalus publishes English language fiction, which has been translated into 23 languages and has commissioned translations from 14 European languages."

Mr Lane said the company first received a grant to allow Dedalus to translate and publish foreign books which may have otherwise remained unavailable in this country.

The publisher is one of a number of groups facing difficulties after the Arts Council sent out letters in December informing them they should expect either a reduction or no further funding.

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In a bid to survive, Dedalus, which is one of the Arts Council's smallest clients, has launched an online petition to try to stop the funding from being pulled.

Mr Lane added: "The whole thing is scandalous. The withdrawal of funding will have catastrophic consequences and, even if we can survive, we will have to completely re-think what type of books we publish."

Publishers have until January 15 to appeal against the Arts Council plans, which are due to be made final on January 23.

A spokesman for the Arts Council told The Hunts Post: "There is no doubt in our minds, or in those of our legal advisers, that the current review of regular funding is compliant with our disinvestment policy in every respect."

INFORMATION: To support Dedalus visit www.dedalusbooks.com

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