In 2007 the Mina Gallery opened in Middlesbrough, bringing a well needed boast to the cultural area of the city. Only seven years later amend more council cuts to hit many cities in the UK, the previously agreed budget set until 2015 but instead as now changed it’s mind and slashed the budget for the gallery.

Retired teacher John Hargan visits regularly and insists mima is an “easy target” for criticism in the current financial climate.

“A lot of people have been critical about the amount of money that the council has had to put up to keep mima open but it means we’ve got a great cultural feature in the town,” he said.

“If we didn’t have mima, Newcastle would be the nearest place to go to experience art and Middlesbrough would be on the verge of being a cultural waste ground.”

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