A revealing report by the New Local Government Network and Arts Council England (ACE) has uncovered figures that we already suspected, that local authority investment in arts and culture has declined by 17%, £236m, since 2010. Peter Bazalgette, the outgoing chairman of ACE, 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.” The arts council is currently working in partnership with 240 local authorities in England to help support them in sustaining culture in their area, he added, but ACE “cannot replace all the funding lost from local authorities”.
The Museums Association reported that a document, entitled Funding Arts and Culture in a Time of Austerity, also found that London boroughs bore the largest cuts in arts and culture spending, down 19% in 2010-15, and warned that while English local government still spent £1.2bn on arts and culture in 2014-15, the cuts remain significant and are likely to continue.
Alistair Brown, the Museums Association’s policy officer, said: “It’s great to see ACE recognising the problems that local authorities face in supporting culture.
“Peter Bazalgette’s speech showed that commercial innovation, partnership working and improved leadership can offer some ways out of crisis for many organisations. It was also a reminder of the important role that ACE’s Museums Resilience Fund has played in supporting change.“However, there are still some big questions about how ACE can support those areas of the country, such as Lancashire, where local authorities have decided to radically cut museum funding without considering alternatives.”
Watch Video Here