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Arts Council of England: Grants

Volume 470: debated on Thursday 24 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what changes Arts Council England plans to make to funding criteria and allocation mechanisms; what changes it has made in the last 24 months; and what (a) internal guidance and (b) external guidance has been amended accordingly. (179445)

[holding answer 16 January 2008]: The Arts Council operates at arm’s length from the Government and decisions about which arts organisations to fund are entirely for them. Their fundamental criteria are set out in their Royal Charter

“to develop and improve the knowledge, understanding and practice of the arts [and] to increase accessibility of the arts to the public in England.”

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which local organisations in each region received funding from Arts Council England in each of the last three years; how much funding was received in each case; and how much each such organisation is expected to receive from Arts Council England in 2008-09. (179447)

[holding answer 16 January 2008]: I announced in October last year that grant in aid for Arts Council England would rise to £467 million by 2010-11—an increase of £50 million over current levels.

A list of organisations which received Arts Council funding between 2005-06 to 2007-08 will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

The Arts Council operates at arm’s length from the Government and decisions about which arts organisations to fund are entirely for them. They have said the following in response to requests to see the detail of the organisations listed in their proposals for 2008-09:

“Our proposals for non-renewal of funding cannot be made available until our National and Regional Councils make final decisions. This information is considered confidential and commercially sensitive during the response period. This is especially so in the case of a recommendation that might be overturned by the National Council or a Regional Council. Regularly funded organisations who have a right to respond to our recommendation, should be able to do so freely without fear that our intention to reduce or stop their funding is potentially unnecessarily, and without their consent, released into the public domain. A full announcement will be made at the beginning of February”.