Transferring arts funding from London to the areas might be life altering | artwork promotion

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I disagree with the outgoing artistic director of the English National Ballet, who has criticized the shift of arts funding from London to other parts of the country (Tamara Rojo engages in bitter dispute over London arts funding, November 24).

As one of the founders of Northern Heartlands, which was named national portfolio organization in Arts Council England’s recent funding round, I have a different perspective. Our organization works with creatives in severely disadvantaged former mining communities and remote rural communities. We see the lives changed and the trust generated by our interventions—activities that would likely have ceased had we not received this funding.

We’ve often looked askance at the percentage of Arts Council England funds that went to London. But of course it shouldn’t be about percentages – the amounts diverted are tiny compared to other government interventions. Spending more on the arts (particularly when it goes to otherwise disadvantaged communities) can save many times that amount from the budgets of the NHS and other public bodies.
Graham Young
Chair, Northern Heartlands