Support for the arts is split regionally, so it can be difficult to measure government funding accurately. The most recent overall statistics available show budget cuts across England, Wales and Scotland between 2014-2016 compared with 2010-2011 figures.
However, more up-to-date figures show that in England, the Arts Council England (ACE) plans to invest £577.5 million per year across its three funding streams from 2018-2022, an increase on the previous funding period. It’s important to note, though, that not all of this funding comes from the government — it also comes from various local and national organisations, and National Lottery money.
Recently, the government have made some pledges towards arts funding. In June 2018, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced the Cultural Development Fund, part of the government’s Industrial Strategy. This pledged £20 million in arts funding for towns and cities in England between 2019-2022. In April 2018, the School Standards Minister, Nick Gibb, announced that £96 million would be allocated to support talented arts pupils in schools. This increased the total support for these programmes, which encourage greater access and opportunities for schoolchildren, to £496 million.
The lack of up-to-date statistics means it’s difficult to get an overall picture on arts funding. Although Arts Councils across the UK have pledged funds, there is clearly still budgetary pressure on the arts. But this policy is a pledge to “continue” something, and there has been no reversal of government funding strategy towards the arts, so we’re calling this one ‘done’. We’ll be watching to see if the funding is delivered. Follow this policy for updates.
- Arts funding – forthearts.org.uk
- Arts Funding: Statistics – House of Commons Library
- How we invest public money – Arts Council England
- £20 million government boost for culture and creative industries in England – Gov.uk
- Funding boost for the arts to support talented pupils – Gov.uk