The organisation has been analysing contributions to arts organisations since 1976 and says, ‘Since we first started capturing this data… private investment in the arts has been following a general upward trend, which has been interrupted in the past two years with decreases from various sectors of investment.’
Arts & Business says the overall decrease in the new figures is predominantly driven by a 12 per cent drop in business investment, along with a 4 per cent decrease in individual philanthropy. This has been offset by an 11 per cent increase in funding from trusts and foundations.
Colin Tweedy, chief executive of Arts & Business, says, ‘Our initial feeling is one of relief as these figures could have been so much worse. At the very peak of the recession private investment in culture held up, though the majority of investment continues to be swept up by the major cultural institutions.’
He adds, ‘At this time of cuts, much more is being asked of the private sector and of volunteers to create a Big Arts Society. Maybe we are set to see a new beginning when private investment becomes the dominant funding force of UK culture.’
Following the Comprehensive Spending Review last October, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport announced it was cutting core departmental and Arts Council England administration costs by 50 per cent. In addition, many local authorities have been or are expected to cut their arts funding.
Last November Neville Brody announced an intention to set up an ‘Alternative Arts Council’, which would aim to channel corporate funding into UK arts initiatives and help plug the gaps left by cuts to ACE.