A Lancashire orchestra has announced it is to close this month.
Bosses at the Lancashire Sinfonietta said it was to fold because of cuts, after 17 years of performance.
Chairman Malcolm Brown said: “This is a very sad time for the orchestra, its fine players and the many enthusiastic fans who have made up its audiences over the years.
“In particular it will be a huge loss to the schools, families and children who are increasingly denied exposure to music by the erosion of government support for the arts.” He said: “This will leave a big hole in the cultural and educational landscape of Lancashire.”
County Coun Marcus Johnstone, cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services, said: “It is sad news that the Lancashire Sinfonietta is to close. We supported them for a long time and worked with them over an extended period to enable them to establish themselves as an independent organisation, which they did last year.
“This allowed the Sinfonietta to bid for funding from a range of bodies, including ourselves and the Arts Council, on an equal footing with other arts organisations.
“We fund around 20 key arts organisations across Lancashire, which apply to us for annual funding through the ‘Central Gateway’ funding process. The Sinfonietta was also eligible to bid for this funding.
“Whilst we continue to support the arts, the county council is facing unprecedented cuts from central government and has taken more than £200m from its budget from 2011 to 2014 and has to save a further £300m over the next four years.”