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Two-thirds want Councils to spend at least 50p a week on culture

28 April 2014

In a poll by Ipsos MORI, co-commissioned by the National Campaign for the Arts (NCA), 63% of people - almost two thirds - said they believed that even in these difficult financial times, local authorities should be investing at least 50p per person per week in arts, museums and heritage.  Only 12% said local authorities should invest nothing.

Government statistics show that the average arts spend by councils in England was 16p, down from 18p in 2011 and 20p in 2010. On average, of every £1 spent by council less than half a penny (0.5%) goes to support arts, museums and heritage.

Visit www.50pforculture.org and enter your postcode to find out the level of investment in your area. Then depending on whether the level is low, average or high you can send a message – of encouragement, steadfastness or praise - to your local council.  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 a member of the Equity Council and 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: almost two thirds think local authorities should be investing three times as much into non-statutory cultural services as they do today.”

The Ipsos MORI research was co-commissioned by the NCA, UK Theatre Association, Equity, The Stage and the Museums Association.  Other campaign supporters include the Society of London Theatre.

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