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Arts Funding 1988–91

Volume 489: debated on Thursday 5 November 1987

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will announce levels of funding for the arts in 1988–89.

My right honourable friend the Minister for the Arts announced at Newcastle in July the start of a long-term plan for the funding of the arts. The aim of the plan is to maintain the level of support from public funds, but to encourage subsidised bodies to become more self-reliant in their development and growth. My right honourable friend is announcing today a new departure in arts funding which will carry that plan forward.The new departure consists of a three-year settlement of the arts budget. This is a special arrangement providing firm figures not only for the next financial year but for a three-year period from April 1988 to March 1991. This is to give arts bodies a firm base on which to plan their future activities and, if they are successful, their future growth. In order to create the right atmosphere and to get this new approach off to a good start, my right honourable friend is providing a substantial increase in funding in the first year.The three-year settlement covers much the greater part of the central government arts programme, including the national museums and galleries; the Arts Council, the British Film Institute, the Crafts Council and other arts bodies; and the running costs of the British Library and the Public Lending Right. It excludes the National Heritage Memorial Fund, for which my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Environment announced on 23rd October a special injection of £20m this year. It also excludes the costs of the British Library capital project at St. Pancras, which will continue to be reviewed annually in the usual way. But it covers all the rest.The essence of the three-year settlement is that the figures for the period up to March 1991 will not be reviewed in the course of the 1988 and 1989 expenditure surveys unless the situation changes substantially in ways that cannot be foreseen today. The Government will consider in 1988 what provision to make for the last year of that survey—i.e., for 1991–92; and similarly in 1989 what provision to make for 1992–93. We intend a rolling three-year programme.Thus, arts bodies will be able to plan their own future on a firm basis. We want them to know what the Government are going to do for them—and what they are not going to do; to plan the fund-raising and income generation which they should undertake on their own account; and to match their plans and priorities to a realistic view of the total resources that they can secure for themselves over the three-year period.That part of the budget to which the three-year settlement applies will rise from £336m in the current year to £394m in 1990–91: an increase of £58m or 17 per cent. To get the new approach off to a good start, the increase in the first year will be 10 per cent. It will not be evenly spread over all my right honourable friend's client bodies; most will go where he judges the case to be strongest. The central government programme as a whole, including the NHMF and the British Library's capital needs, will rise to £440m over the three-year period. That is a rise of £79m or 22 per cent. in total.The table below shows the main allocations over the three-year period. The Arts Council's grant will rise from £138m in the current year to £150m next year, £155m in 1989–90 and £160m in 1990–91. Over the three years, this is a rise of over 15 per cent. From this increase the Arts Council will be expected to deal with the financing of overseas tours by our major companies and to set aside sums rising to £7m by the third year for incentive funding schemes and for increased touring in the regions outside London. The grant to the British Film Institute will rise to £12m by the third year, an increase of nearly 20 per cent. The grant to the National Film and Television School will rise by 50 per cent. to £1.7m. The Crafts Council's grant will rise by nearly 19 per cent. to £2.4m.The provision for the Business Sponsorship Incentive Scheme will be increased from £1.75m to £3.0m. The provision for Public Lending Right will rise from £2.75m to £3.5m, a rise of 27 per cent., which will bring the fund to its highest level in real terms since its inception. The provision for the running costs of the British Library will rise from £51m in the current year to ?56m by 1990–91, a rise of nearly 10 per cent.The total provision for museums and galleries will rise from £126m in the current year to £141m next year and £146m by the third year. A further statement will be made before Christmas on the allocation of these sums between institutions. But not less than £6m of the increase in the first year will be devoted to strengthening the building and maintenance programme of the national museums and galleries—a rise of over 20 per cent. The grant to the Museums and Galleries Commission will rise to over £6.8m by the third year, a rise of over 11 per cent.These measures combine a substantial increase with a firm limit. They offer an opportunity to aim for, and secure, a broadening of the base of support for the arts in this country. As living standards rise, we should aim to ensure that increasing numbers of people not only have access to the arts but participate by their own choice in supporting them. These proposals are designed to help to create the climate in which artists and arts bodies can win that support.

Table of main allocations
£ million
Arts Council138·40150·00155·00160·00
British Film Institute10·0311·3011·5012·00
Crafts Council2·022·252·352·40
Government Art Collection0·160·200·220·24
Arts Marketing0·250·250·250·25
Research and supporting services0·220·700·700·70
NHMF (OAL share)1·501·501·501·50
Acceptance in lieu (OAL share)1·001·001·001·00
British Library current grant51·0054·0054·7056·00
British Library capital22·7031·2639·6544·19
New library initiatives0·000·250·250·25
Public Lending Rights Scheme2·753·503·503·50
Museums and Galleries total125·64140·70142·66145·63
of which
National Institutions119·38133·80135·55138·33
Museums and Galleries Commission6·266·406·616·81
Research and and support services0·500·500·50