Government fund encourages private investment in art and culture

The Government has launched a new £55 million scheme which aims to encourage private investment in arts and culture.

An advisory panel chaired by former Tory MP Michael Portillo will review bids from organisations for grants of up to £5m each from its Endowment Fund, which will match any funds raised from private donors.

The fund is part of a wider £100 million scheme which aims to encourage philantrophy and is supported by Arts Council England, the Department for Culture Media and Sport and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

To apply for grants, organisations need to raise money privately from philanthropic sources; the idea being that £55m in Government funding will see £110m raised from private support.  

Figures released by Arts and Business at the beginning of the year show that private investment in arts and culture fell by 3 per cent year-on-year to stand at £658 million in 2009-10.

Meanwhile it emerges that two major public arts projects are currently seeking funding to allow completion.

It has been reported that the White Horse, a 50m-high installation planned by artist Mark Wallinger in Kent, is facing a funding shortfall due to spiralling costs. Organisers Eurostar London, Continental Railways and Land Securities will not be investing any further money, so it is understood that the shortfall will have to come from private cash.

Funding is also being sought for Cecil Balmond’s Star of Caledonia project, which was announced yesterday as the winner of the Scottish Sculpture Competition, which will mark the border of England and Scotland.

Dr Jan Haygarth, public art manager of commissioning body Wide Open, says, ‘We’re at a stage where we have funding for design development but need to raise more for implementation and we’re speaking to Government about that.’

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