Cutting The Cost Of Culture

The UK government’s determination to slash public spending means organisations such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Opera House, National Theatre and English National Opera will be getting less money.

All four have been cut 11-15 percent, while London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts is one of the biggest losers among the national institutions.

Its grant has been slashed 37 percent from £1.42 million per year in 2010-11 to £900,000 in 2012-13.

Arts Council England, which has less money to hand out since its own budget was cut by £100 million in October’s Spending Review, announced that more than 200 previously funded organisations won’t be getting any money at all.

About 1,300 venues, theatres, galleries and arts groups applied for grants from the ACE, which has decided to give financial help to 695 of them.

The funding covers the years 2012-15, although the government has pledged that arts and culture will receive an extra £80 million in lottery money from 2013.

Last year, the Arts Council said it received an estimated £149 million in lottery funding.

“It’s very welcome but it’s not something that will solve the problems that we’re facing today,” an Arts Council England spokeswoman told The Independent.

The extra money can’t be used to help cover the day-to-day running costs of arts organisations. It can only be used for one-off projects such as building renovations or refurbishments.

The depth of the cuts varies from sector to sector, although regional theatres appear to be one of the hardest hit. Groups to have lost funding include the Northumberland Theatre Company, based in Alnwick, which has lost £337,000. The Alnwick Playhouse Trust has also been removed from the list, losing £40,000.

Manchester’s Green Room Theatre has also lost its funding of £317,000 a year, the Theatre Royal Wakefield has lost £101,000, while Fuse Theatre for Young People in Liverpool, which received £115,000 this year, has also been struck off.

Arts Council chief exec Alan Davey said difficult decisions had to be made.

ACE said it had not followed an “equal cuts for all,” which would have meant every organisation taking a 6.5 percent spending cut, but made decisions on a case-by-case basis with a focus on “excellent organisations and exceptional individual talent.”