Images of Money
Local Authority arts services are being increasingly asked to justify their economic impact and are actively seeking out external funding sources, according to survey results published in the Arts Development UK Local Annual Arts Funding Survey for 2012.
The average arts spend across surveyed authorities has remained steady at £385,000 almost matching 2011’s figures(See AP238) but has not risen in line with inflation, and is down by 38% since 2008. Regularly funded organisations have seen a 41% drop in funding from local authorities are now likely to support organisations that are already receiving money from Arts Council England or Arts Council of Wales. Just over 65% said they supported arts organisations not financed by either national funding body. Capital spending has ground to a near halt; only three of the surveyed authorities reported any building work in the arts sector – and in all cases it was worth less than £2,000.
Half of respondents had seen restructuring within their authority which, in 40% of cases, has seen arts departments merge with other parts of the council. This may mean a drop in specialism of services, but is perceived to provide a greater chance of job security. For every £1 spent by local authorities on arts services, leverage from grant aid and partnership working brings in £3.83 of additional funding. This is down from £6.32 last year demonstrating the holistic impact of the recession on money available for the arts. Fundraising activity, is growing with Local Authorities looking for new sources of revenue; just over half sought money from charitable trusts; 36% reported seeking central Government grants, 18% applied for European grants and even supermarket giants, like Tesco, have given money to top-up arts budgets. Looking to the future, 38% see further cuts in the coming year, a quarter are expecting staff to go and 6% were expecting to be closed or have their work contracted out.