Arts warning from London boroughs

Another £250m of culture cuts on the way.

London’s councils have warned that spending on the arts in the capital could be cut by as much as £250 million.

The future of theatres, parks and festivals are all in jeopardy, according to the latest figures from London Councils, which represents the 32 boroughs and the City of London.

Spending on culture and related services in London has fallen by almost a third since 2010/11, from almost £600 million to under £400 million in 2015-16, they say.  And the combined effect of funding reductions and growth in demand for statutory services mean that spending on culture and leisure could fall by a further £250 million by 2020 to £150 million.

Cllr Guy Nicholson, London Councils’ representative on the Mayor of London’s Cultural Strategy Group, said that councils have been developing stronger links with the Arts Council, partnerships and joint ventures in a bid to maintain spending on culture. 

“All of this is now in jeopardy and the boroughs are deeply concerned about the impact this loss would have on local communities and the economy.”

He added,” If the principal statutory responsibilities of local government – adult and children’s social care, public health and waste management – are protected, spending on other services would need to be reduced by almost 60 per cent by 2019/20.”

According to 60 per cent of Londoners, arts and culture is the best thing about living in the capital. GVA* of the creative industries in London was estimated at £34.6 billion, accounting for just under half (47.6 per cent) of the UK total (72.7 billion), and contributed 10.7 per cent of total GVA in London**.

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