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National Campaign For The Arts Launches '50p For Culture'

The National Campaign for the Arts (NCA) is leading this new campaign to safeguard and increase local authority investment in arts, museums and heritage.  The campaign brings together new research, data analysis and a website where residents in England can find out how much local authorities planned to invest in culture in their area in 2013/14.

The NCA is encouraging people in England who care about culture to visit www.50pforculture.org and enter their postcode to discover the level of investment in their area; depending on whether that level is low, average or high they can then send an appropriate message to their local representatives.  The website will also keep monitoring planned changes in investment by every local authority and highlight those who are cutting culture disproportionately.

Actor and director Samuel West is Chair of the National Campaign for the Arts.  He said:

'We know town and county halls are facing tough choices as they try to balance their books.  In the last five years, many of them have seen culture as an easy target, and chosen to cut it disproportionately. The research we have commissioned shows that far from being a minority concern, this is something their constituents really care about: most people - almost two thirds – want local authority culture funding to triple.

'Because investment levels are so small – less than half a penny in every pound - cutting them won’t balance the books.  Instead, it will make independent cultural organisations unsustainable and could make the UK cultural desert spread. 

'This survey shows that nearly 90% of those responding want local authorities to support the arts. Local authorities have a long and proud history of bringing culture to their communities and have played a major part in making the UK a world leader in the creative industries.  Good, affordable art should be a part of the nourishing meal we serve our citizens. Access to it should not be a postcode lottery, or depend on people being rich.  Locally and nationally, we have a lot to lose if culture continues to be cut at the levels we are seeing.  I hope the 50p for Culture campaign will make local politicians and officers value culture as much as their constituents obviously do.’

The 50p for Culture campaign is being led by the National Campaign for the Arts, which is now entirely run by a small unpaid board and a number of other volunteers. The initiative is supported by Equity, The Stage, UK Theatre, Museums Association, the Society of London Theatre, Making Music, the Independent Theatre Council, and the National Museums Directors Council.

¦     www.50pforculture.org

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Tags: funding, theatre performance news, uk news

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