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Local authority funding for the arts and culture has fallen by 19 per cent* in the last 3 years and organisations around the country are feeling the effects.
Local authorities must consider alternative ways of sustaining local culture, NLGN warns in its report, The Arts Council England On with the Show: Supporting Local Arts and Culture. NLGN recommend that local authorities embed the arts and culture within their corporate strategy and use their role of local leadership to bring together residents and partners around their vision and strategy. The report details a number of alternative models of support that can mobilise this strategy.
Findings in the report show that despite the cuts, local authorities still recognise and champion the value of arts and culture to their local communities but struggle to do so via the traditional grant giving channels.
But the story need not be a simple one of decline. Even with significantly reduced budgets many local authorities recognise that there is a cost to reducing support for culture. It is for this reason that NLGN are calling for local authorities to look at alternative models to sustain vital local cultural services and create a clear vision for the arts in their place.
The report also recommends that the arts and culture be explicitly recognised and provided for in the growth deal process. The creative industries should be specifically referenced as a potential engine for growth and a useful contributor to the skills development agenda.