Funding overhaul can fix broken Britain's culture policy, says report
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Funding overhaul can fix broken Britain's culture policy, says report

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An independent report has suggested that a forthcoming government White Paper on Culture is crucial to the sector, providing a “once in 50 years” opportunity to fix the national cultural policy framework for Britain.

Entitled A Policy for the Arts and Culture in England – The Next Steps?, the study says that there are significant funding imbalances between London and the rest of the UK. According to the research, London-based organisations receive 82 per cent of all private sector sponsorship, donations and grants provided to culture, with the largest organisations being by far the most substantial recipients.

Additionally, since the inception of the National Lottery, the study says the UK capital’s culture sector has been given roughly four times the per capita funding compared to the rest of the country.

An analysis showed that the funding gap was so disproportionate that culture funding for residents of London totalled £65.18 (US$94.40, €84.44) per head. Outside the capital, the number was at a significantly lower £4.91 (US$7.11, €6.36).

Responses so far to address the issue have been met with limited response. The recent spending review saw Arts Council England (ACE) move 5 per cent of Lottery resources outside of London to the rest of the country. This improvement is still small however, totalling just £0.25p (US$0.36c, €0.32c) per head.

“What is clear is that the present position is unjustifiable,” said the report. “The priority whether during or after austerity, must be to invest in strengthening the national cultural infrastructure (NCI) throughout England – institutional as well as physical and including some new capital and revenue investment – with a clear priority on the country outside the capital.

“The White Paper should contain a straightforward commitment to achieving fundamental change from the present imbalances to an England where great regional centres have the resources within their own mixed portfolio of cultural organisations to work with their international and metropolitan peers as equal partners.”

To read the full GPS Culture report, click here.

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An independent report has suggested that a forthcoming government White Paper on culture is crucial to the sector, providing a “once in 50 years” opportunity to fix the national cultural policy framework for Britain.
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