UK Government pledges to address Glasgow culture funding crisis

04 Oct 2021

The UK Government has said it will help Glasgow address its culture funding crisis.

The city’s cultural operator Glasgow Life has warned it cannot reopen more than 90 of its 171 venues if it does not secure funding above the £100m pledged by Glasgow Council over the next for years.

The charitable trust announced plans to cut 500 jobs earlier this year.

UK Government Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart said he is "keenly aware" of the difficulties Glasgow Life faces.

"The cultural importance of Glasgow's museums cannot be overstated. I am determined to do everything I can to support efforts to secure the future of our wonderful collections."

Glasgow Life Chairman David McDonald welcomed Stewart's comments and hoped they spark a meeting between Scotland Office and the Scottish Government to "protect cultural growth in Glasgow".

Futureproofing the museum sector

Firstsite Museum
28 Sep 2021

Sarah Philp explores the challenge of developing funding to get more people to visit museums and see more art.

Scotland hires freelancers as arts tutors

27 Sep 2021

Up to 50 freelancers will be employed as arts tutors in some of Scotland's most remote and culturally distinctive communities.

Creatives and artists who have lost work due to Covid-19 or Brexit can apply to work with primary schools in the Scottish Islands of Na h-Eileanan Siar, Orkney, Shetland, Argyll and Bute, Highland and North Ayrshire.

Gaelic arts body Fèisean nan Gàidheal will deliver the programme whilst the University of the Highlands gives tutors support and accreditation. The tutors in turn will support the development of assistant tutors to continue delivering arts education.

Fèisean nan Gàidheal CEO Arthur Cormack said training will increase freelancers' "resilience" and better equip thme to work in schools in the future.

The programme is funded by the National Transition Training Fund and through the Scottish Government's Islands Programme.

Few of ACE's priority places are among the lowest funded

23 Sep 2021

Fifty-four priority areas for investment have high rates of deprivation and low cultural engagement, but some of the lowest funded regions have missed out.

£270m arts premium for schools on hold

23 Sep 2021

The quiet suspension of the election pledge is "sadly another example of the disregard shown by the Department for Education towards creative subjects".

£330k boost for music export scheme

23 Sep 2021

A grants programme to help UK music companies market their products and projects overseas has been given a £330,000 boost.

The Music Export Growth Scheme gives grants of £5,000 to £50,000.

The extra finance was announced this week as part of a package of measures in the Department for International Trade's (DIT) new 'Made in Britain, Sold to the World' campaign.

Museums will also benefit from new research around reaching international markets.

Minister for Exports Mike Freer said the UK's creative industries are "a force to be reckoned with" - music alone exported £519.7m last year.

DIT expects Asia to be the next big market for British cultural exports: "The region [is] set to be home to the 66% of the global middle classes by 2030, hungry for high quality British goods and services."

Swansea Council opens £50k Cultural Fund

22 Sep 2021

Swansea Council has opened a £50,000 Cultural Fund to help its local arts and culture sector bounce back from the pandemic.

Swansea-based freelancers and organisations working in arts, culture and heritage can claim up to £1,500.

"We know that with lost income and more pressure on audiences' purses than ever, the costs of staging events or concerts will be daunting for some local groups. This is where we think we can help," cabinet member Robert Francis-Davies said.

"Swansea's cultural community is crucial to keeping our city strong and our residents fit and healthy."

To apply for funding, applicants must email the council and return a completed application before October 31.

£14.5m for AI to curate national heritage collection

Woman looking at artefacts in the British Museum
21 Sep 2021

AHRC’s investment will support artificially intelligent programmes to create unified virtual collections of the UK’s museums, archives, libraries, and galleries.

Auction to split proceeds equally between artists

20 Sep 2021

Educational arts charity Art UK has opened an auction fundraiser which will split proceeds equally between all participating artists.

Buy Art To Help Art UK features a live auction at London's Cromwell Place on September 29 and an online auction, now open for bids until September 30.

The auctions include work from over 140 artists priced from £50 to £50,000, but proceeds will be split equally between the artists.

Art UK Director Andy Ellis says the charity's share of sales will go towards increasing access to its national art collection, expanding its learning resources and telling the stories of underrepresented artists.

“Please support us if you can by buying a great piece of art or telling your friends about what’s on offer."

Birmingham 2022 releases festival details

17 Sep 2021

Birmingham 2022 has released details of the six-month festival set to run across the West Midlands as part of the Commonwealth Games.

The £12m festival will showcase art, photography, dance, theatre and digital commissions between March and October next year.

It will open with a new production, Wondrous Stories, performed by Leamington Spa-based dance circus company Motionhouse. The festival's full programme is set to be released in January,

“This spectacular festival will feature over 300 brand new creative works, providing essential funding direct to artists and thousands of participatory moments for audiences,” Birmingham 2022 Chief Creative Office Martin Green said.

Birmingham Council's Creative City Grants will support the festival by offering 150 community groups grants of up to £20,000 to deliver creative projects that “impact positively on their community”.

This latest funding drive follows £100,000 pledged by the Games to create artworks depicting sporting events.

Dormant accounts invested in arts development scheme

16 Sep 2021

£500,000 of unclaimed money has been granted to a development programme for Northern Irish arts organisations.

Arts & Business NI received the Dormant Accounts Fund NI award to support its new programme Blueprint.

It is the first strategic grant awarded by fund after Northern Ireland's Department of Finance opened applications in January.

Blueprint is a five-year partnership programme to help arts organisations develop financial skills, review business models and generate income in “new and creative ways”.

Arts & Business NI says it will "create a stronger, healthier arts funding ecology".

"Our ambition to create transformational change and build long-term financial strength in the NI cultural sector, mirrors the aims of the Dormant Accounts Fund NI," Chair Martin Bradley said. 

Northern Ireland opens £5m recovery programme

15 Sep 2021

A recovery funding programme for Northern Irish creatives has been opened by Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI) and the Department for Communities.

ACNI Chief Executive Roisin McDonough said the £5m Creative Individuals Recovery Programme (CIRP) is designed to help creatives continue developing important skills.

It can help pay to create new work, hire facilities or equipment, improve professional skills or attend industry events.

Grants of up to £2,000 are available, with applications closing October 6.

“CIRP funding can help our creative individuals to positively contribute, as they did before the pandemic, to the significant cultural value of Northern Ireland as a great place to work, live and invest,“ McDonough said.

Giving circles and the arts

a border of hands reaching into the centre
14 Sep 2021

Philanthropy is sometimes described as a ‘privilege’ of the wealthiest. But, as Michelle Wright argues, research suggests that giving circles can provide a meaningful and empowering experience at all levels.

Tie funding to compliance with employment law, MPs say

14 Sep 2021

The sector and its funders must adopt measurable diversity targets or risk losing "an entire generation of talent".

London invests £1.3m into creative jobs

10 Sep 2021

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced £1.3m for the city's Creative Enterprise Zones (CEZs) as part of a plan to double the size of the scheme.

Croydon, Lambeth and Lewisham's zones will share £1.1m - £450,000 from the CEZs scheme and £650,000 from the city's final European Social Fund grant. The councils will contribute the remaining £200,000.

Each will pursue a project to increase training, infrastructure and mentoring opportunities that support creative careers.

'Win Creative Croydon' will provide training for music industry roles.

In Lambeth, 'Brixton Creative Works' will provide specialist training to business owners wanting to support early career creatives, as well as career fairs and mentoring.

And 'Inspire Lewisham' will work with partners at Lewisham College, Goldsmiths University and The Albany to teach music and coding to creatives from underrepresented backgrounds.

£50k for Northern Ireland ethnic artists

08 Sep 2021

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has made £50,000 available for a new programme supporting artists from a minority ethnic background.

The mentoring and residency programme will offer grants of up to £5,000 for research, learning, networking and cultural exchange opportunities.

Applications are open until October 4, with artists at every stage of their career encouraged to apply.

Chief Executive Roisin McDonough said the programme seeks to address the "numerous and complex barriers to access, progression and representation in the arts" that minority ethnic artists face. 

The council is in the process of establishing a Minority Ethnic Deliberative Forum to strengthen diversity within the sector and inform future decision making.

Sheffield 'starved' of arts funding

07 Sep 2021

Sheffield receives less arts funding than Manchester despite having a larger population.

Analysis by The Star found that Manchester and Leeds get four times as much from Arts Council England.

Organisations in Sheffield have received £37.8m in grants since 2017/18 - the equivalent of £64.77 per person.

Leeds received the equivalent of £166.94 per person over the same period, while Manchester got £274.78 per head of population.

City Council Deputy Leader Julie Grocutt said Sheffield "punches above its weight" culturally.

The Sheffield Culture Collective launched its first strategy for regional growth in June.

"We are keen to strengthen relationships with major funders to redress the geographical imbalance in funding... and are working with partners in the Culture Collective to do just that," Grocutt said.

"We now need to make a determined effort together to bring in greater investment in to Sheffield and tackle this unfairness."

Cross party MPs go in to bat for Glasgow

01 Sep 2021

Scotland’s Labour and Conservative parties are calling on the Scottish and UK Governments to agree a new funding deal for Glasgow’s culture and leisure services.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar raised a motion in Holyrood calling for further support for Glasgow Life, which runs culture and leisure on behalf of Glasgow City Council.

The charitable organisation warned it cannot reopen more than 90 of its 171 venues if it does not receive more than the £100m guaranteed by the council over the next four years. 

Glasgow Life lost £38m during the lockdown, leading to plans to cut 500 jobs.

Scottish Conservative Glasgow MSP Annie Wells voiced her support for the motion.

“It should be a source of shame for the SNP Government that so many vital facilities and venues in Glasgow are under threat.”

Let's create austerity

a women looks at paintings in galleries
01 Sep 2021

It’s been over a year since Arts Council England published its 10-year strategy, Let’s Create. Bethany Rex has been investigating how the strategy might translate into action.

Wales' arts funders 'shouldn't force white-led organisations to diversify'

23 Aug 2021

A report commissioned by the Arts Council of Wales says it is entrenched in white supremacy and has ignored calls for change. It appears to be doing the same again.


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