THE director of one of the region’s biggest music events and premier music studios has said it is ‘business as usual’ despite missing out on Arts Council funding.

The Tees Music Alliance (TMA) which organises the annual Stockton Weekender project, has received £100,000 a year from the Arts Council since 2012 - which will stop from next year.

But TMA director, Paul Burns, said there were still “exciting plans” for the future and it was business as usual.

“Our current Arts Council funding is secured until April 2015 and forms just one part of a much wider set of plans that we've been developing for some time," he said.

"A lot of what we’re planning we're not ready to speak about just yet; but it's all good stuff. It is not so much a ‘difficult’ time, just a very busy one.”

A spokeswoman for the Arts Council said the organisation would continue talks with TMA.

Stockton Borough Council, which supports Stockton Weekender, revealed it had given TMA £72,000 towards running costs but, more significantly, it has provided temporary financial support to help book big acts for Stockton Weekender, something it does every year.

Ken Dixon, Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, added: “As Tees Music Alliance is a small charity dealing with high profile acts, there is always a requirement to pay deposits to contractually book the artists and these booking deposits are paid well ahead of any income being generated.

“The council provides advance funds to enable the event to operate and the council’s contribution is reimbursed following the event.”

This year’s Stockton weekender is July 26/27 with headline acts Public Enemy and the Happy Mondays. Ticket prices vary. Call 01642-606525 or log on to