COLCHESTER’S arts organisations are today breathing a sigh of relief after being told they will receive more than £5 million of government funding over the next three years.

Firstsite, the Mercury Theatre and Colchester Arts Centre discovered today they would not be one of 58 organisations nationally that would no longer attract Arts Council funding.

Instead, they will remain part of the government quango’s “national portfolio” and continue to receive major grants until at least 2018.

Firstsite director Matthew Rowe said the award was a “significant achievement” for Colchester.

For the full story, see Wednesday's Gazette