Areas exterior London get £75m to enhance entry to arts | Tradition


Communities outside London have been put on a priority list for culture support under a £75m Government plan to improve access to the arts.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced on Wednesday that it would reallocate new funding from Arts Council England (ACE) to more than 100 sites outside the capital over the next three years.

In addition to the Culture Recovery Fund’s $2 billion Covid-19 rescue plan

The Arts Council England has also been ordered to invest at least £24m.

“I’ve said from day one in this role that my priority is to increase access to arts and culture across the country,” Dorries said.

“Today is a big step towards that goal as we move new cultural investments to places that previously were at the back of the queue. Culture enriches people’s lives. It entertains us, brings us together and can be a catalyst for regeneration. Everyone should have access to it, no matter where they live or what background they come from.”

In an article for the Yorkshire Post, Dorries called it “one of the largest reallocations of arts funding in our history”.

The move comes after the government pledged to increase culture spending outside of London in its white paper on increasing culture spending. ACE currently spends £21 per capita in London and an average of £6 per capita in the rest of England.

Organizations in more than 109 areas with historically low investment in arts and culture have been encouraged to apply for grants.

These areas, referred to as “leveling for cultural sites,” were identified based on levels of cultural engagement and spending

ACE Chair Sir Nicholas Serota said the increase in funding would “allow more people in more places to reap the benefits of arts and culture and accelerate our engagement with parts of the country that deserve more investment”.

He added: “We will be able to do more to nurture new creative talent, support work that makes us healthier and happier, rejuvenate our shopping streets, and most importantly, ensure everyone, everywhere, has the opportunity for a rich cultural and creative life .”

ACE said it was already working on transferring money to other regions. Grants investment outside of London has increased from 40% to 60% and investment in national lotteries has increased from 60% to 75%, it said.

The announcement was welcomed by leaders of regional arts institutions. Chris Stafford, Managing Director of Leicester’s Curve Theatre, said: “We believe that everyone, whatever their circumstances, should have equal opportunities to engage with world-class culture and fulfill their creative potential.

“We welcome the Arts Council’s new investment programme, which will provide a greater balance of public investment across the country and ensure no one is left behind.”

Tony Butler, chief executive of Derby Museums, said being a national portfolio organization (one that receives public funding) has “ensured that cultural heritage frames our city’s future aspirations as a place of innovation and creativity”.