Norwich theatre boss says new arts funding report makes “hard reading” for the regions

Peter Wilson, chief executive of Norwich Theatre Royal. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Peter Wilson, chief executive of Norwich Theatre Royal. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Simon Finlay

The boss of one of Norwich's theatres has spoken of how a new report into Arts Council England funding makes 'hard reading' for arts organisations outside of London.

Hard Facts to Swallow was published today by GPS Culture (Peter Stark, David Powell and Christopher Gordon).

It analyses the Arts Council's (ACE) investment plans for 2015-18 and states: 'Arts Council England's claim to be rebalancing investment in the arts between London and the rest of England through its 2015-18 plan cannot be substantiated.'

The report states that between 2015 and 2018 ACE will have stewardship of £1,589 million - a combination of taxpayers money and National Lottery funding - for direct support of the arts in England.

It says that of this, £689 million will be invested in the arts in London, while £900 million will be invested in the rest of England, and states that this allocation of funding per capita is 4.1:1 in favour of London.


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Peter Wilson, chief executive of Norwich Theatre Royal, said: 'GPS' analysis of the imbalance in national arts funding between the regions and London makes hard reading for those of us outside the M25, and especially for those of us who are not Arts Council National Portfolio holders.

'London is a powerhouse of cultural and creative activity, some of which does flow back into the regions, and its status as a world leader in this field means our taxpayer investment should be substantial. But the disproportion that GPS identify is not sustainable.

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'I am aware that strenuous efforts are being made at national and local level to ensure parity.

'The Theatre Royal will work amicably with ACE, local authorities and any political party to make sure that as soon as possible every citizen of this country gets the same quality of culture - and access to it – wherever they live.'

• To see the full Hard Facts to Swallow report visit www.gpsculture.co.uk

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