Culture Minister Promises Funding Deal To Protect London Arts From Cuts
Matt Hancock the new Culture minister has promised a funding deal to protect London arts from more cuts. The Arts Council England budget for 2018 to 2022 which was released yesterday shows millions more will be spent in the regions as well as the capital. £622 million a year has been earmarked across lottery and grant-in-aid for its three main funding streams, the National Portfolio, Grants for Arts and Culture, and strategic funds.
About two-thirds of the money will be allocated through the National Portfolio and London organisations will be guided to apply for a “standstill” settlement, with rises only in exceptional circumstances. Mr Hancock said: “London is the world’s leading artistic and cultural hub. I’m delighted that we’ve been able to protect funding for the arts in London, while also increasing support to regional projects. “This significant settlement will help enrich the lives of millions, and help ensure everyone can access the arts, regardless of background.”
The proposals aim to give an increase of four percentage points to the regions. Arts Council England chief executive Darren Henley said: “We’ve planned a budget that lets us reach more people in new ways. "We’ll increase investment outside London without damaging the capital; fund more new, small and diverse organisations."Museums, libraries and arts organisations will apply to us on a more level playing field.” But he also said the funding position remained “very tight”.
The National Portfolio will receive a budget of £409 million a year between 2018 and 2022. Its application portal will open on October 26. The Grants for Arts and Culture open access funding stream will see a £10 million a year budget rise to £87.5 million, to help the integration of museums and libraries. The strategic funds’ expenditure will stay broadly the same at £125 million a year, and the council will continue its aims under the guidance of Sir Nicholas Serota the new Chair of Arts Council England. Serota will take on the role for a term of four years, commencing on 1 February 2017 taking over from Sir Peter Bazalgette in the role.