Local Authority Funding: ‘We’re in, if you’re in’ back to listing

The decline in funding from local authorities – so crucial to the Outdoor Arts sector – has been addressed by Arts Council England Chair, Peter Bazalgette, offering a way to work together and move ahead.

Launching a report on Funding Arts and Culture in a time of Austerity, he spoke to local authority representatives, stating “We know you are under pressure. Let’s work together to develop new, creative and innovative solutions to sustain the vital cultural life of our communities. We’re in, if you’re in”.

The report, produced with the New Local Government Network, highlighted the recent changes in funding:

  • local authorities are still the biggest funders of arts and culture in England
  • local authority investment in arts/culture has declined by £236 million, 17% since 2010
  • while English local government still spent £1.2 billion on arts and culture in 2014/15, the cuts remain significant and are likely to continue
  • London boroughs saw the largest cuts in arts and culture spending; 19 per cent between 2010 and 2015

Sir Peter went on to say that “while the Arts Council cannot change the economics of local government or bridge the funding gaps, we can, as a national development agency, use our own relationships to broker new partnerships. We can focus specific funding on particular areas of need; we can invest in the best ideas. We can get the message out there that there are ways forward that can make a difference.”

Download the report here: Funding Arts and Culture in a time of Austerity 

Pic: Dagfest by Anita Adeshina