** UPDATE: The Council rejected the proposal at their meeting on 22 February 2012. The funding will continue! **
As part of their funding cut rampage that last year saw the Arts and Events team's budget reduced by 62% (leading to the cancellation of Victoria Park's Paradise Gardens festival), Tower Hamlets are now proposing to cut 100% of their funding to Greenwich and Docklands International Festival.
GDIF has received £25,000 p/a from Tower Hamlets since 1997 as a contribution to the large-scale, free, outdoor events they produce each year within the borough (last year Wired Aerial Theatre's As the World Tipped at Mile End Park and the Dancing City mini-festival at Canary Wharf). Without the funding from Tower Hamlets, GDIF would have to reduce events within the borough and large-scale international productions would likely not happen.
At present the funding cut is only on the table. The Tower Hamlets Council will make a decision on the Cabinet's Medium Term Financial Plan (which proposes to reduce the Communities, Localities and Culture budget from £61,437 million in 2011-12 to 52,738 million in 2014-15) on 22 February 2012, so if you value the activies of GDIF in the borough then take a little time to write to the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman (firstname.lastname@example.org) to tell him why.
GDIF, which also programmes work in the boroughs of Greenwich, Lewisham and Newham, is an Arts Council England National Portfolio organisation.