Local arts funding plummets 12%

Local authority support for the arts has fallen by a dramatic £15m in the last year, according to new data from Arts Council England. 

The annual submission of National Portfolio Organisations for 2016-17 shows that income from council grants slumped by almost 12% in the year.

It follows findings by the National Campaign for the Arts’ (NCA) Arts Index for this year that local authority funding had fallen by more than a third in the last decade.

“These figures are depressing but they are far from surprising” the NCA’s chair Sam West told The Stage. “Cuts to Arts Council NPOs are large and significant, but still only a fraction of those being made to overall local authority funding of arts and museums.”

The ACE statistics are based on submissions from 649 arts organisations across England which showed an income from councils of £111,749 in 2016-17 compared with £126,877 the year before.

It is the latest evidence in story showing accelerating elision of subsidy from arts organisations’ income. Where once the system of subsidy, earned income and contributed funds could be divided roughly into equal thirds, this time 52% (51% in 2015-16) is earned, 24.1% from the Arts Council (24.6%) and just 6.8% from local authorities (7.7%). Contributed funds – sponsorship and giving – remained at 12.9%.

Full statistics will be released by ACE next year. 



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