Beamish, The Living Museum of the North. Photo © Joel Fildes

Local government, art and culture: the future

Posted on 11 April 2016

Our Chair, Sir Peter Bazalgette urged local authorities to work with the Arts Council to back local arts and culture in a speech today (Wednesday 13 April 2016) as we published a new report with the New Local Government Network (NLGN): Funding Arts and Culture in a time of Austerity.

The report

While local authorities are still the biggest funders of arts and culture in England, the report sets out the scale of the funding decline:

  • 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.

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

Sir Peter's speech

Addressing local authorities and members from local councils from across the country, Sir Peter said: “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”.

He went on to talk about the many local authorities already finding new ways to support arts and culture in their areas; how the Arts Council will continue to “deploy funds in dynamic and imaginative ways” – including our Creative People and Places programme and Creative Local Growth Fund; and he went on to state:

“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 speech here.

Join the conversation: #culturematters | Click here to watch the event with subtitles

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