The Government has announced plans to ensure more cultural funding is
distributed outside London.
As part of the levelling up White Paper, ministers produced detailed proposals to
insist that Arts Council England spends more of its grants outside the capital and
to give cash to London-based national arts organisations which want to work in
other parts of England.
They have also promised to increase diversity in audiences, employees and
boards of arts and cultural organisations.
The White Paper also repeats a previous promised to spend £40 million on 50
cultural projects involving cultural assets, libraries, museums and creative
industries. Again, most of this will be spent outside London.
Local leaders will also get more say in how regeneration cash in spent in their
district. In York and North Yorkshire, ministers say they will negotiate a new deal
for the region, which will devolve more powers from Whitehall.
The changes are billed as part of the Government’s overall mission to improve
‘well-being; and instil ‘pride of place’ in the parts of the UK which have been left
behind and have not enjoyed the same level of economic progress as London
and the south-east of England.
Olivia Chatten, master of York Guild of Media Arts, welcomed the news but
added that many parts of the UK were still suffering from an imbalance of
opportunities in the cultural and creative industries. “It’s good to hear that the
government is focusing its attention on arts and culture outside London. For too
long, places like York have been treated as second best when it comes to
funding and support. The Guild looks forward to playing its part in making sure
the creative industries here benefit from that new focus.”