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Encouraging trends in public support for arts and culture

  • Date: 2 April 2014
  • Area: National

Support for public funding of arts and culture in England continues to increase, according to our independently commissioned Stakeholder focus research, published today.

Stakeholder research is an important tool for the Arts Council, ensuring that we remain in touch with the views of our external stakeholders and the public, who tell us about what we’re doing well, and what we could do better. 

We make a strong case

Among our stakeholders in the arts and cultural sector, the feeling was that we are getting better at our advocacy role, and are making a strong case for public investment in arts and culture. Among those who felt we had got better at achieving our aims, 68% said they felt this way because we had made a good case for continued public investment in arts and culture - a significant increase from 50% in 2012.  Among the general public there are some encouraging trends - support for public funding for art and culture is up sharply, from 49% in 2012 to 56% in 2013. 

Relationships are improving

It is good news that the relatively new addition of museums and libraries to our remit have left stakeholders in those sectors with generally positive impressions of us - and that people working in museums are the group most likely to think that their relationship with us has improved over the last year (46% do so, more than any other group).

Still bureaucratic, but increasingly strategic

Some things don’t change. We’re still perceived as bureaucratic, though a few percentage points less so, which for a publically accountable organisation under constant scrutiny is a label that is hard to shrug off; but we’re also increasingly seen as ‘strategic’ - which shows perhaps that people understand that we’re in this for the long haul, and that we have a plan, and a sense of our collective mission.

Chief Executive, Alan Davey said in his response to the findings: 

"Overall, in the context of the organisational restructure, when public funding has come under such scrutiny, this is a positive report…But we are not complacent, and we recognise from this report the things we need to address over the coming months."    

Download the latest Stakeholder research report and the Arts Council’s response.  

Find out more

Visit the Stakeholder focus page in our Research section to find out more.