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Arts Index sees sharp rise in individual giving to arts and culture in England

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New research covering the condition of arts and culture provision has recorded a 68 per cent rise in individual giving in England since 2015.

Published by the National Campaign for the Arts (NCA) and supported by Arts Council England (ACE), the Arts Index report acts as a health check of the arts across England, offering an independent and objective analysis to the country’s policy makers.

The Index linked the individual giving leap in individual giving to ACE’s Catalyst programme, which was launched in 2012. The fund was created to supports organisations with a limited track record in fundraising to enable them to attract more private giving.

“It will be fascinating to see if this rapid progression can be sustained and built upon in the years ahead,” said the report.

National Lottery funding is up 18 per cent, with funding from trusts and foundations also rising by seven per cent. The rises were partially offset by a drop in sponsorship from businesses and local government funding, which declined 20 and 15 per cent respectively.

“The ratio of combined public funding to income earned by Arts Council England’s core portfolio has shifted dramatically since 2007/08,” said the report, which added that the arts sector is now far less reliant on public funding and far more reliant on earning money from the public – principally through ticket sales.

“Studies show the average price paid for tickets has risen well above inflation in recent years. It’s great that many people are prepared to pay more, but the NCA believes everyone deserves affordable access to arts and culture, no matter how much money they have.”

The gentrification of culture across England was raised as an issue by the report, which said that the “removal of huge sums of public money” was making the problem worse, meaning arts and culture are less accessible for certain audiences.

According to the Index, the biggest challenge ahead for the arts is its perceived public value.

“The arts remain a massively popular pastime, with more than 70 per cent of the adult population attending events or participating themselves every year,” said the report.

“Despite this high figure, only 37 per cent of the population now believe taxation should be used to fund arts and culture.”

“The public doesn’t yet know how funding works and how it makes world-class art affordable for all. The NCA must redouble its efforts to increase understanding of the power and value of arts investment.”

To read the full report, click here.

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New research covering the condition of arts and culture provision has recorded a 68 per cent rise in individual giving in England since 2015.
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