It may be spring but there’s a real arts chill in Lancashire.
When Arts Council England announced its response to its cuts and the new NPO programme they held a number of seminars across the country. mailout attended the one in Bolton. It was emphasised that a key priority was to address ‘cold spots’. The places where there was no provision; places that were missing out on an art form; places in need and places that were isolated from mainstream provision. This was a priority for the new funding stream and we should all bear this in mind when making our applications.
Currently the Arts Council provides regular funding to 13 arts organisations across Lancashire, to a value of around £1.5m per annum.
Six Lancashire based organisations have had their regular funding cut by 100% from April 2012. These are Folly, Litfest, Mid Pennine Arts, Prescap, Preston City Caribbean Carnival and the Storey Gallery. In addition Action Factory, based within the unitary authority of Blackburn with Darwen, lost its regular funding.
Of the organisations that maintained their funding status, Ludus have been offered a significant reduction in their settlement of 69.9%, with both the Dukes and Horse & Bamboo receiving an 11% reduction in real terms over the three year period. Spot On Rural Touring received stand still funding. Burnley Youth theatre received a 9.5% increase and More Music fared strongest with a 52.9% increase.
Participatory arts provision is currently strong in Lancashire. Prescap, Mid Pennine, Preston Carnival, Action Factory, Burnley Youth Theatre and More Music are predominately participatory arts companies. Folly, Litfest and Ludus do a lot of participatory work and The Dukes runs a very successful youth programme.
This all represents a 45% cut in the county. Current RFO funding represents an investment per head of £1.08. In 2012/13 this will go down to 60 pence. From 2012/13 Lancashire will have 8 National Portfolio Organisations compared with 14 in Cumbria. The investment per head in Cumbria will be £4.26.
ACE could double its investment in Lancashire by sending everyone a second class large letter.
Nationally, mailout has calculated that the NPO investment in participatory arts is stable at about 7.5% (see here for details). This is not good news, the Arts Council priority is ‘great art for everyone’, participatory arts puts the ‘everyone’ into their portfolio.
The situation in Lancashire is considerably worse. Perhaps ACE see Lancashire as Manchester’s hinterland. People from Preston, Blackburn, Burnley, Accrington, Nelson, Colne and Blackpool live in some of the most deprived areas of the UK. Public transport is poor. ACE have just invested £1,000,000 in 18 days with Manchester International Festival whose tickets for Bjork start at £45. mailout wonders how many Lancastrians will be there.
Addressing cold spots was a priority for Arts Council England but it’s got decidedly chilly in Lancashire.
mailout is keen to seek out the new ‘cold spots’ around the UK. What is the news local to you? Please let us know so that we can report it.
We have just received this from Lancashire Business View
Once again Lancashire regeneration projects have missed out on a cash handout from the government.
The county failed to get its hands on a single penny of the £450 million from its Regional Growth Fund.
This cash could have vastly improved some of the areas of Lancashire which were hoping to invest and eventually prosper from the fund.
We can only hope the county is more successful when we bid for more funding.