The proposal for the new funding structure campaign was accepted by the Equity governing body, Council, on Tuesday this week.

The discussion moved between ideas for using the current structure more effectively: arguing for the value of the arts, questioning the nature of the processes for assessing quality and quantification of outcomes and activities. The debate on alternative process and distribution was difficult to start and came into a mild confrontation between the past and a possible future. The gross imbalance between funding of National (representative) institutions and many others was explored: local production; small scale and medium scale touring; work for, with and by diverse groups; issues about relationships with audiences and venues were explored.

It was agreed that a new structure would be very good but that we have to deal with the existing one now and in the (hopefully) short term at least. It was agreed that the transition from one funding system to a new one would have to be carefully planned, with the participation of those receiving and giving funds and that this would take time, thought, collaboration and organisation.

As the convenor, I saw the courage, creativity and resourcefulness of practitioners and also the not-surprising pessimism about change - Austerity and marginalisation of creative arts and practitioners and companies.