London: devouring the lion's share of cultural funding? 5 Nov 2013

London: devouring the lion’s share of cultural funding?

A new report, self-funded by its authors, has tracked back through 20 years of government funding and argues that London is getting an unsustainably large slice of available support.  The arguments in Rebalancing our Cultural Capitalinclude:

  • 75% of public arts funding is in the hands of ACE and the DCMS, a proportion likely to increase as local authorities are squeezed.  51% of ACE’s funds were spent on London last year, with 90% of DCMS’s additional £450m going to London
  • Around 90% of money given to the arts by philanthropists is spent on London, and the capital also benefits from £27m spent by the mayor
  • High travel and accommodation costs “render access [to London events] unaffordable for a very high proportion of England’s more distant populations.”
  • Digital access is a ‘two way street’ and can’t be used as an excuse for concentrating culture in the capital. 

One of the report’s authors, David Powell said “As a Londoner, my instinct has long been that there was inequity between London and the rest of England, but on close inspection, the historical and current record looks pretty shocking even when making due allowance for the additional investment in national and international infrastructure proper to a capital which is one of the world’s great cities.” The authors are offering to make themselves available at What Next?regional meetings to answer questions.

Meanwhile Paul Cutts from the new cultural giving platform DONATE suggests that his technology may be a solution. Arts ProfessionalGuardianGuardian,