Charitable legacies: The time to act is now

Hand drawn vector illustration of charitable symbols
18 Apr 2023

In the next 30 years, a record £5.5 trillion is set to be transferred between generations, as either inheritance or gifts. Michelle Wright thinks legacy giving is a neglected area of fundraising.

Uncle Vanya NT Live takes over £1m

28 Feb 2024

The NT Live cinema release of Uncle Vanya starring Andrew Scott has taken over £1m in UK and Ireland box office sales since its release on 22 February.

Premiering at 737 venues, Uncle Vanya had the widest release of any NT Live production, taking £768,872 in a single night, rising to over £1m by the end of the weekend. It is the biggest success for NT Live since Empire Street Production’s Prima Facie, featuring a solo performance by Jodie Comer.

Uncle Vanya, which played sold-out runs at Richmond Theatre and Duke of York's Theatre last autumn, saw Golden Globe nominee Scott take on all the roles in a 105-minute adaptation of Chekov's classic play. The show was produced by Wessex Grove, Gavin Kalin Productions and Kater Gordon.

Frazer: Philanthropy 'key to widening arts access'

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer at the National Gallery
29 Jan 2024

Culture Secretary says the denigration of corporate sponsorship and donations needs to end if arts and culture institutions are to get the financial support they need.

UK visual artists earn £10m in royalties during 2023

29 Jan 2024

Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) has announced that it distributed £10.1m in Artist’s Resale Right (ARR) royalties in 2023.

The sum was split between 1,893 visual artists and estates, 228 of which were first-time payments to artists whose works had only recently begun selling above the threshold value of  €1,000 on the secondary market.

ARR was introduced into UK law in 2006. Since then, DACS has paid a total of over £125m in resale royalties, benefiting 6,121 artists and estates. 

Christian Zimmermann, DACS Chief Executive, said: “These monies recognise both artists' and estates' contributions to our society and the economy, with an art market worth £9.5bn and our creative industries contributing £116bn to UK GDP.

“Royalties go beyond financial transactions - they are essential catalysts for reinvestment, empowering artists to create and estates to preserve the artist's enduring legacy."

Record profits for music venue group

26 Jan 2024

A company that owns a nationwide chain of music venues has announced record profits for the 2023 financial year.

The Electric Group owns and operates live music venues, including Electric Brixton, SWX Bristol and NX Newcastle.

The company reported earnings of £1.98m for 2023, up from £1.04m in 2022 and £1.36m for the year before the pandemic.

It is hoping to expand its operations and is assessing the viability of three new venues.

The company, which bought the freehold to the Leadmill in Sheffield in 2017, has been embroiled in a prolonged dispute with the historic club's managers after serving them with an eviction notice in 2022.

Electric Group CEO Dominic Madden commented: “As a company we embody the spirit of independence. We thrive on collaboration, working hand-in-hand with artists, fans, and partners to foster a music community that dares to be different.

“It’s not just about preserving history, it’s about breathing fresh vitality into every venue. We embrace innovation and consistently seek ways to invigorate oculturally significantant venues. We are delighted with the outstanding financial results of our company.

"We are delighted with the outstanding financial results of our company. Although we have had some unique challenges to deal with in the post Covid era including dealing with the catastrophic arson attack at SWX Bristol, the demand for live music and our curated approach to music programming of events is unabated."

Legacy income 'growth area for arts charities'

View inside the Royal Opera House
21 Dec 2023

Only five arts and culture organisations feature among the top 1,000 UK charities by legacy income, but experts highlight potential for significant growth in this field. 

Mendes theatre fund to support mid-career professionals

Assistant stage manager Teresa Morrow applies finishing touches to a costume worn by actor Sara Billeaux.
20 Nov 2023

Pilot programme designed to address a 'huge shift' in the creative workforce towards film and tv launches.

Spending down: Opportunity or risk?

Calculator on phone while person does finance, business, audit and accounts
15 Nov 2023

In spending down their assets, trusts and foundations are making a strategic change of direction which could pose a threat to the charity sector, says Ben Wilson.

Funded organisations diversify income in Northern Ireland

Aerial view of Belfast
14 Nov 2023

Arts Council of Northern Ireland says increase in organisations leveraging investment from new sources is “positive news” amid “pressured and complicated funding picture”.

DACS pays out £2.6m in third quarter of 2023

23 Oct 2023

Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) distributed more than £2.6m in Artist's Resale Right (ARR) royalties from July to September this year.

The figure brings DACS’ total royalties paid to artists and estates so far this year to almost £7.5m.

Median ARR payment in the third quarter was £280, with more than 60% of royalties under £500.

Of the 862 artists and artists’ estates receiving royalties during the third quarter of the year, 53 artists were paid ARR for the first time.

Since the right to ARR became law in 2006, DACS has now paid out almost £123m to 6,079 artists and estates.

DACS Chief Executive Christian Zimmermann commented “ARR is more than just a royalty payment”.

“For many artists and estates, it is an enduring connection between artists and the evolving ownership of their works; simultaneously creating a robust and transparent provenance trail, adding depth to the stories behind each work.”

Post-NPO life

Party with people on stage and balloons
10 Oct 2023

Following the closure of the Bridge network earlier this year, and an unsuccessful bid for ACE funding, Nick Owen of The Mighty Creatives still thinks there’s life after funding loss.

Financial climate for museums to 'get worse before it gets better'

04 Oct 2023

The cost-of-living crisis continues to impact museums across England, and the situation is expected to get worse before it gets better, according to a new report.

Funded by Arts Council England and produced by South West Museum Development, the Annual Museums Survey gathered data on 700 accredited non-national English museums. It found while visitor numbers in 2022/23 were higher than the previous year, they were down 18% on pre-pandemic levels.

Museums also reported increased expenditure of 10%, mainly on energy bills, materials, staff costs and travel. At the same time, visitor spending was down overall and some organisations had also experienced a drop in donations.

After a slight increase in reported income during 2020/21 and 2021/22, overall income for museums dropped by 3% in 2022/23.

The report found museums attempting to balance the need to generate more revenue by increasing ticket prices with a desire to keep admission fees low to encourage visitors.

Respondents said schools were struggling to fund museum visits for pupils, especially the transport costs. The report concluded that museum visitor demographics and behaviour are increasingly difficult to predict.

The cost-of-living crisis has also significantly impacted museum staff and volunteers, according to the survey, as some employees departed for higher-paid jobs or moved to new roles closer to home.

Seasonal staff and lower-paid positions in retail, catering and cleaning proved challenging to hire, while some volunteers returned to paid jobs or could not afford to travel to perform their roles.

Despite this, the number of volunteers increased last year by 11%, only 5% fewer than pre-pandemic levels.

Victoria Harding, Programme Manager at South West Museum Development, said: "A range of factors, such as free entry and geography, have influenced the degree to which museum visitors have returned to pre-pandemic levels.  

"However, across the sector, irrespective of how successfully museums have generated increased income through a variety of new, or enhanced, ways this progress is outstripped by the increase in expenditure reported by 64% of museums."

Democratising theatre with VR

Gemma and Kelman Greig-Kicks - Gemma wearing a VR headset
02 Oct 2023

Kelman and Gemma Greig-Kicks are on a mission to use virtual reality technology to democratise theatre and provide new income streams for creators.

Performing arts among fastest growing sectors of economy

A woman performing on stage holding a skull
28 Sep 2023

Government figures reveal the economic value of music, performing and visual arts is outperforming the rest of the economy, but sector leaders warn individual venues continue to struggle.

Derby Museums facing 'existential challenge'

Inside a room in Pickford's House Museum, Derby.
21 Sep 2023

National Portfolio Organisation warns that reductions in public funding combined with rising costs makes its current business model unsustainable.

Museum floats homes development plan 'to safeguard future'

05 Sep 2023

A museum in Hampshire has submitted plans to build homes on its site in order to generate income to secure its future.

Bursledon Brickworks Museum, in Swanwick, wants permission for 12 homes to be built on its site which is home to historically significant industrial buildings including a brickmaking kiln, processing sheds, specialised enclosures, engine and machinery houses, along with a café and a museum, The Portsmouth News reports.

"Due to the listed nature of the Brickwork Museum, these buildings require essential repairs and restoration works to safeguard their future as heritage assets," an application put forward by the museum states.

"The Brickwork Museum will require substantial funding to carry these repairs and restoration works.

"The money required will come from a variety of sources but these alone cannot raise the required funds to carry out the works. 

"Therefore, the purpose of developing the land for residential dwellings is to enable the land to be sold to a developer in order to raise significant funds that can enable the works to the listed buildings to take place."

Film and TV worth over £5m to Cornwall in 2022

29 Aug 2023

Film and TV production was worth more than £5m to the Cornish economy in 2022, new figures reveal.

The data comes from a Screen Cornwall economic impact analysis into Gross Value Added (GVA) by the sector.

It found there were 422 filming days and 101 pre-production days in the county during 2022, which generated an estimated GVA of £5,040,000 – an 8% increase on 2021.

Screen Cornwall also announced it will receive a further £395,650 through the government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Managing Director Laura Giles said the GVA figure was “a significant contribution for our rurally dispersed sector”.

“For the first time, we have a reliable estimate of what film and TV production is worth financially to Cornwall’s economy," she added.

“Momentum continues to grow for both location filming and independent production, so this funding boost comes at an important time.

“A diverse and robust talent pipeline is vital to developing a healthy screen ecosystem, so people are at the heart of our vision for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to become the UK’s most vibrant, rurally dispersed content production region.”

Shetland Arts to offer voluntary redundancies 

22 Aug 2023

Shetland Arts has announced it is offering 15 staff voluntary redundancy in an attempt “to avoid the need for compulsory redundancies”.

The redundancies will be offered to staff at office and manager level. 

The organisation's trust said the measures were necessary due to its current financial situation, after commercial income failed to return to pre-Covid levels and emergency funding had ended, with costs “continuing to escalate”.

“This reduction in commercial income and increasing costs means the organisation needs to make savings,” a spokesperson for the trust said.

According to local press, total savings of around £318,000 need to be made, with around half of those savings found already.

NPO revenue from international activity halves

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performing at Carnegie Hall in New York
08 Aug 2023

Arts Council England study finds international environment has become "increasingly complex" for English cultural organisations and practitioners to navigate.

Significant pay gaps for northern freelancers

05 Jul 2023

Freelance creative workers living in the North of the UK are suffering from three significant pay gaps, a new poll has found.

Recruitment agency Major Players polled 450 digital, marketing, product and creative workers in the Midlands, North East, North, West Yorkshire & the Humber and Scotland, and found pay gaps relating to gender, ethnicity and identity.

The poll found the pay skew in favour of men working within freelance roles in the north was “considerably higher” than the UK average, at 15.9%.

An ethnicity pay gap was also found on creative assignments, with Asian, Black, Mixed, Arabic or Other background freelancers earning an average of 7.1% less than their counterparts.

The poll also revealed LGBT+ freelancers in the north earned on average 7% less than the average UK day rates. This gap was also considerably higher than the UK average LGBT+ pay gap of 1.4%. 

The statistics underscore just one aspect of the challenges faced by minority freelancers, George Greenaway-Poole, Major Player’s Group Marketing Director wrote on LinkedIn.

“I saw a recent statistic which said that more than 35% of the LGBTQIA+ community hide their sexuality at work in fear of negativity or discrimination,” he said.

He added that for those who were ‘out’, repeatedly sharing aspects of their identities can be “emotionally draining”.

He suggested that businesses could help alleviate the pressures on LGBT+ workers by asking people for their pronouns, using inclusive language and gender-neutral terms and including visual cues in work settings, such as hanging rainbow flags.


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