Parliamentary culture, media and sport committee reports on the Arts Council 5/11/2014

The Culture, Media and Sport Committee has reported on its enquiry into the Arts Council. The committee said that it would like to see more work to feed a greater proportion of funding to the regions.  John Whittingdale MP, Chair of the Committee said "we heard evidence of well thought out proposals to help redress the balance, starting for example with lottery funding. We welcome the efforts already being made by the Arts Council to shift lottery funding outside of London but would like to see this done faster." The report also recommended: 

  • Where local authorities do not support the arts, the Arts Council should not allocate resources: "we are disappointed that a few local authorities appear to fail to recognise the value of supporting the arts and we see little point in pumping public money into areas that do not particularly want or need it."  Westminster Council was among those highlighted on this point.  
  • Any future increase in the Arts Council's Grant in Aid should be allocated outside the M25
  • Lottery funding within London should be limited to its per capita share

Responding to the report for the Arts Council, Sir Peter Bazalgette said "the report suggests that greater urgency is required around the rebalancing debate and we are pleased that it has acknowledged that we are tackling this, and that there is ‘much to praise in the hard work of the Arts Council.’ We also welcome the recommendation that the Arts Council’s Grant in aid should not be reduced.  Further, the report says that as we have played a part in helping to reduce the deficit, we should be considered a beneficiary in a time of recovery. We welcome this and agree that any further provision in future spending rounds should be prioritised to bolster the national arts ecology outside the M25."  The Stage, Arts Professional, Arts Council of England, Parliament