Core Cities UK - Response to Select Committee Report

Posted on: 12th January 2015 at 00:00
Posted by: PANDA
Location: UK
Discipline: Other

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The Select Committee report into the work of Arts Council England (ACE) was published last month. The scope of the review was the scope, scale and remit of the Arts Council, the economic and artistic criteria underpinning its decisions, the fairness of the geographic distribution of funding and the use of lottery funds (particularly the principle of “additionality”).

The Core Cities (the eight largest cities in England outside the capitalThe Core cities are a strategic partnership formed between: 

You can download the report in the resource section of the PANDA website or go to Core Cities website - link provided. However, PANDA would highlight the following:
  • In view of the projected decline in treasury funding for the arts, we also call for future decisions on the apportionment of such reductions (within the currently agreed 2015-18 portfolio) to take account of the disproportionate difficulty of attracting replacement funding outside London, and an approach to decision-making which analyses more robustly the need for particular levels of subsidy.
  • We must guard against the idea that it is only the largest organisations which are a cause for concern in this environment.  The smaller cultural and creative businesses are essential for the wider ecology of the sector and with the liabilities associated with the largest, building based and most high profile companies, there is a real danger that we lose the depth and range of the offer in focussing only on the organisations in the national portfolio.
  • This discussion must include the potential for alignment/pooling of funding for culture and for devolving cultural budgets (including potentially national lottery funding) to a city, or city region, level to enable us to take a lead in innovating and developing new models for supporting the sector, potentially matching funding against bids to European sources.  We believe this would be a more cost effective way of working, bringing cultural planning closer to those who fully understand local needs, and integrating it with local decision-making on a broader canvas, linked to place-making, economic growth, skills and public health.
  • A <span style="\&quot;letter-spacing:" 0px;\"="">Finally, we seek acknowledgement that the situation is becoming critical and we can no longer sustain current levels of support in the face of rising pressure on services.  This is in spite of our full appreciation of the importance of the sector to a range of factors which influence our competitiveness, including the direct economic benefit from the cultural economy, spill-over benefits of innovation and creative skills, and associated benefit of improved wellbeing, cohesion and reputation.