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Enquiry into how cities can finance culture launched

 

A new enquiry has been launched today into how cities can continue to fund culture as local authority budgets continue to shrink.

The cultural cities enquiry will examine how culture provides social and economic benefits in cities around the country.

It will also look at how culture can help integrate communities, tackle loneliness and unlock new funding streams.

And it will examine how cities can use social investment, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding to fund cultural projects in the future.

The enquiry will also look at whether the planning system could be used to provide incentives for developers to provide more spaces for culture in their schemes.

The chief executive of Virgin Money, Jayne-Anne Gadhia will chair the enquiry, which follows discussions between the Core Cities group and the Arts Council England on the subject.

The enquiry board will be made up of expert individuals from a variety of sectors, and includes chair of Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, economist Bridget Rosewell, Cardiff City Council leader Cllr Huw Thomas, deputy chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund Seona Reid, and Alison Nimmo, chief executive of Crown Estates.

‘Public sector investment has long been the backbone of UK cultural provision, but after a decade of austerity we cannot fund it in the way we used to,’ said Cllr Thomas.

The challenge is compounded as technology changes the way culture is consumed, and the persistent blight of inequality leaves a significant proportion of our most disadvantaged communities with limited access to the arts. That is why the time is right for the cultural cities enquiry being launched today.’

The inaugural board meeting will take place today at the Deptford Lounge in Lewisham, an award-winning community hub with a broad range of arts programming and local services.

‘I’m honoured to be asked to chair this important enquiry,’ said Ms Gadhia. ‘I firmly believe that culture can and should be a force for social and economic good, bringing together communities and driving investment to foster growth.

‘I hope that through this enquiry, we will be able to provide creative and practical recommendations to really improve the ability of our cities to invest in culture, for the benefit of all,’ she added.

The chair of Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, added: ‘Culture is an integral part of life in cities. We need to secure the creative strengths of our great cities by finding fresh ways of doing things.

‘The cultural cities enquiry will look at the current challenges and will seek to provide answers. The pressures on our cities may be great, but the prize is cities that are rewarding places to live in.’

 

To find out more, visit the enquiry website here.

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