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Society and Culture Society and Culture

Ensure more support for the arts goes outside London

Last updated: 11:51am 17 January 2019

We will continue our strong support for the arts, and ensure more of that support is based outside London.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.25

Our verdict

This policy recognises an imbalance in arts funding across the country, with investment skewed towards the capital. In fact, this is one of several policies aimed at boosting arts and culture outside the capital (see “Related policies” below). The pledge here is to give more support to the arts outside of London, and we’re looking at funding levels as the measure of government support.

In June 2017, the Arts Council England (ACE) pledged to promote regional arts and culture and “take more money out of London”. Their 2018-2022 National Portfolio shows increased funding outside the capital with a 4% decrease in London.

Additionally, the government’s £20 million Cultural Development Fund is focused on investment outside of London: organisations registered in the capital cannot apply for the fund.

All this indicates increased support for arts outside of London, but there have also been some cuts in funding elsewhere, not just in the capital. The main focus on regional support seems to be in the North, with initiatives like the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund, a £15 million fund promoting culture and arts in the region, including the Great Exhibition of the North in 2018.

Overall, we take the fact that allocated ACE National Portfolio funding has risen by at least 16% in every region outside London for the period 2018-22, and has fallen in London by 4%, along with the other initiatives mentioned above, as evidence of government rebalancing support for the arts away from the capital. Given these are the Arts Council’s figures we’re considering this new allocation of funding to be secure, so we’re calling this one ‘done’.

Further reading

Related policies

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