Response to Release of Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee Report “Funding of the arts & heritage”
Tuesday 29th March 2011
NCA responds to Select Committee conclusion “arts in a cold climate”
The National Campaign for the Arts (NCA) welcomes the Committee recommendations in the recently released Select Committee Report into “Funding of the arts and heritage”.
Louise de Winter, former Director for The National Campaign for the Arts (NCA) was called to give evidence last year to the Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee inquiry.
Speaking at the time, she warned against the possible regional disparities that cuts to local authority budgets would produce; commenting on the potentially devastating impact that local cuts could make to whole arts sectors in some regions. Submitting evidence to the Committee she said,“the big fear is that the organisations at the local level that receive money from local authorities could potentially face up to 100% cuts, depending on how local authorities decide to use those budgets available to them. So what we fear is an even greater diminution of art generally”.
Commenting on the impact of such regional variations during the committee inquiry, Louise also stressed the importance of the geographical reach of the arts and pointed to the possible impact on touring. Stressing the corollary effect on artists in the capital from the cuts made in the regions she said “If, for example, theatres get cut outside of London, that means a big national ballet company that tours will find it harder to take its work to people outside of London; so what we end up with is a potential concentration of artistic activity in the capital and maybe one or two other metropolitan areas that are fortunate enough to sustain those systems but, for the large majority of the people, potentially their ability to consume and to see is much more constrained. So there is an impact on touring as well”.
The NCA welcomes the report and we are pleased that the Committee is aware of our concerns especially those voiced by our former Director during the inquiry. There is a real possibility that the impact of the cuts will fall hardest on smaller organisations and particularly those in regional and rural areas. We warmly welcome the Committee’s response to our fears; recommendation 16 states that “Outside London and the metropolitan areas, arts organisations find it a lot harder to make their own money. It is vital that, even in less densely populated parts of the country, people still have access to cultural activities. It is all the more important in this climate that the Arts Council take these factors into account when selecting its National Portfolio and we urge it to continue to do so in the future”
We are also pleased that the Committee recognise the cumulative impact of the local authority cuts and forthcoming Arts Council England (ACE) funding portfolio and understand what this will mean for the arts sector, describing it as “Arts in a cold climate” (Point 15 states) “It is inevitable that the combination of spending cuts from central and local government will have a major impact on the arts sector. The Arts Council is unable to fund the same number of projects as it has previously and this will no doubt result in the loss of some arts organisations, particularly if they have not made alternative funding arrangements.”
We will continue to work with the sector and beyond to fully support all opportunities for the public across the country to enjoy and benefit from the arts.
Notes to editors:
1. For further information please contact the NCA, 1 Kingly Street, London W1B 5PA. Telephone: 020 7287 3777. Fax: 020 7287 4777. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.artscampaign.org.uk
2. The National Campaign for the Arts (NCA) is the UK’s only independent lobbying organisation representing all the arts. It provides a voice for the arts world in all its diversity. It seeks to safeguard, promote and develop the arts and win public and political recognition for the importance of the arts as a key element in our national culture.
3. The NCA is also running the I Value the Arts campaign which has attracted support from across the sector. For more information about I Value the Arts, visit: www.ivaluethearts.org.uk
The Secretary of State has embarked on a letter writing campaign to the CEOs of the FTSE 100 to encourage more of them to support the arts. This is all part of the Government’s drive to boost philanthropy and to make 2011 the Year of Corporate Giving. The NCA is pleased that the Mr Hunt is actively leading this initiative from the front but notes with concern some comments reported in the Financial Times which state that “it was ‘unrealistic and unreasonable’ to expect the private sector to pick up funding in areas from which government has retreated.”
The NCA has submitted its response to Arts Council England’s Achieving great art for everyone consultation, ACE’s ten-year strategy which aims to place the arts at the centre of national life and ensure their continued growth throughout the next decade.
NCA draft response to ACE strategy consultation April 2019