Arts Council England, the national development agency for the arts, yesterday saw its government funding for 2010/11 slashed by £4 million as part of Alistair Darling’s budget.
Though ACE was prepared for larger losses of up to £14 million, the funding cuts will be felt by many companies who were relying on the money to enable new projects to progress. Regularly funded companies, however, could be spared reduction of support.
An ACE spokesperson explained: “It is a shame that the government has found it necessary to cut funding to culture but we will do our best to protect the interests of audiences who deserve the best art there is. That is why, in implementing these cuts, we will not reduce our planned investment in the arts organisations we fund on a regular basis – many of whom have already planned against expected income in 2010/11. Instead we will reconsider our existing and planned new projects and look to find savings there.
“This is a short term solution but not without its implications as these projects are our investment in the development of the arts.
“The arts are far more than a luxury add-on – they are quality of life and, with sufficient public investment, they can be central to economic recovery.”
In addition to theatre, ACE’s remit spans the development of music, dance, art, photography, crafts and literature.