Hundreds of arts groups lose funding

 
Images of the arts: PA and Getty Images All aspects of the arts have been affected by the announcement

More than 200 organisations that received regular funding from Arts Council England have missed out after "a series of painful decisions".

About 1,300 venues, theatres, galleries and arts groups applied for grants from the council, which had its budget cut by £100m in October's Spending Review.

Some 695 groups will get funding for 2012 to 2015 - down from 849 - while 110 new groups have been successful.

The government has pledged an extra £80m in lottery money from 2013.

Last year, the Arts Council said it received an estimated £149m a year in lottery funding.

Of the extra lottery money, touring companies will get support to the tune of £18m a year, while £10.5m will target work with children and young people.

Arts Council England, meanwhile, said that money could not be used to fund the day-to-day running costs of arts organisations and could only be used for one-off projects such as building renovations or refurbishments.

"It's very welcome but it's not something that will solve the problems that we're facing today," a spokeswoman said.

'Underfunded company'

Leeds-based company Northern Ballet, which has been told its grant has been cut by six-and-a-half percent - or about £200,000 a year - said it was "deeply disappointed" with the decision.

Start Quote

It didn't need to be like this - Arts Council England could have chosen to apply a 15% cut across the board and thereby avoid the inevitable hullaballoo”

End Quote Will Gompertz BBC arts editor

The company, which has just moved into a new £12m purpose-built home, said it had "worked hard to become a successful organisation, even though it is widely accepted that we have always been an underfunded company".

The cuts have jeopardised a number of regional theatres. Among the groups to have lost funding are the Northumberland Theatre Company, based in Alnwick, which has lost £337,000 and the Alnwick Playhouse Trust has also been removed from the list, losing £40,000.

In Manchester, the Green Room Theatre has also lost its funding, worth £317,000 a year.

The Wakefield Theatre Trust, which runs the Theatre Royal Wakefield, has lost £101,000, while Fuse Theatre for Young People in Liverpool, which received £115,000 this year, has also been struck off.

Watch: Arts Council Chief Exec Alan Davey says difficult decisions have had to be made

Kate Tyrrell, executive director of the Northcott Theatre, in Exeter, which has had its funding cut, said staff would "take this news in their stride and continue to work to provide the high quality service audiences and artists have come to rely on".

The Institute of Contemporary Arts, in London, was one of the biggest losers among the national institutions.

Its budget was cut by 37%, from £1.42m a year in 2010/2011 to £900,000 in 2012/2013.

Biggest winners

The Royal Shakespeare Company, Birmingham Royal Ballet, English National Ballet and Opera North were among major organisations to receive cuts of 6.6% - roughly in line with the overall cut the Arts Council had to make.

Start Quote

We feel the arts council has recognised the impact the work that Candoco has done for the past 20 years, working with disabled and non-disabled artists creating high quality work”

End Quote Stine Nilsen, of dance company Candoco which has had its grant increased by 11%

The biggest winners in terms of total grant were the Young Vic, up 15.8% to £1.75m a year, Northern Stage, up 19.6% to £1.6m, and English Touring Opera, up 17.6% to £1.6m.

Chichester Festival Theatre's grant rose 10.1% to £1.6m while the Whitechapel Gallery will benefit from a rise of 25.3% to take its annual total up to £1.5m.

Stine Nilsen, co-artistic director of London-based Candoco - "a contemporary company of disabled and non-disabled dancers", said its increase of 11%, to £415,530, would allow the group to reach a wider audience.

"We feel the arts council has recognised the impact the work that Candoco has done for the past 20 years, working with disabled and non-disabled artists creating high quality work with amazing choreographers across the world," she said.

The Manchester International Festival, which this summer will premiere Damon Albarn's new stage show Doctor Dee, came out top in the list of new additions to the Arts Council's portfolio with £500,000 followed by the National Skills Academy, with £400,000.

The London-based Opera Group will receive £345,000 a year from 2012/2013, while festival and event organiser Kendal Arts International will benefit to the tune of £290,000 a year.

Arts funding across the UK

  • The Northern Ireland Assembly announced this month that the arts budget would be cut by £1.4m over the next four years. The budget for this year is £10.9m
  • Creative Scotland has been told to "achieve more" in return for its 2011/12 budget being frozen for the next three years at £35.5m, with funding for existing organisations protected
  • The Arts Council of Wales announced last summer that it would stop funding 32 groups but would continue to fund a further 71 with the 2011/12 budget set at £24.3m

Arts Council England said it had not followed an "equal cuts for all" policy, instead making decisions on a case-by-case basis with a focus on "excellent organisations and exceptional individual talent".

Chair Dame Liz Forgan said the announcements were "about a resilient future for the arts in England".

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that, while it was "a difficult day for many organisations", the government had "limited cuts to frontline arts organisations and at the same time increased significantly the amount of lottery money going to the arts".

"This means that the Arts Council's overall annual budget will reduce by £20 million (11.8%) by April 2015, putting it in a much better position than many other parts of the public sector," he said.

While Arts Council England has predicted it will have an extra National Lottery income of £76m a year, the government says that, based on its calculations, that figure will be £80m a year.

 

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 461.

    It is soul destroying to see companys my friends work for cut when they know in themselves that without that funding they won't have a job. So isn't this just going to create a vicious circle with more unemployment and an increase of people claiming job seekers allowance?

    Arts are an important part of any community and a lifeline to many, why take that away?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 454.

    Didn't the arts council pay thousands of tax payers money for sheep to be painted in a field and then for the artist to take photos? It's about time the government stopped wasting our money on people who can't be bothered to get a real job and who only entertain the minority.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 185.

    I would like to thank the government for dashing the hopes and dreams of so many. When times are bad we tend to look to the arts as a beacon of hope. We enjoy what ever free time we have and spend what seems very little money we have left to go out to the theatre or opera to forget about our troubles....however we now cannot even do that we have a government happy on bringing us all to our knees

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 177.

    I agree with cutting grants to successful clients which have benefited in the past from the Arts Councils spending and are now capable of operating independently;
    "There is no human right guaranteeing free entertainment paid for by other peoples’ tax", but funding like this is ESSENTIAL for new projects to flourish, and for our continued enjoyment of a thriving arts community

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 149.

    Because art is only a perception with no intrinsic value of itself, it should never have attracted tax payer's money in the first place. Just like sport, art must be self financing through non fiscal sponsorship or on a pay to view basis. I absolutely do not want my taxes to support art, or sport, even when times are good.

 

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