The issues

We want the arts to be...

Local arts cuts

Our analysis of official Government statistics found that, between 2009/10 and 2020/21, per-person cultural funding was reduced by 33% in Scotland, 36% in Wales and 50% in England in real terms.

National arts cuts

Our analysis found that, compared with the start of the decade, Government funding of the Arts Councils in 2020 was 16% lower in England, 21% lower in Wales and 63% lower in Northern Ireland in real terms. In Scotland it was 4% higher, but this followed 9 years of lower investment than in 2009/10.

Impacts of Covid-19

The impacts of the pandemic on the arts sector have been, and remain, severe. 80,000 jobs have been lost in music, performing and visual arts; by 2025, only 23,000 are projected to return.1

Impacts of Brexit

New rules and paperwork, with high associated costs, are holding artists back and risk creating a ‘glass ceiling’ for up-and-coming talent.

Privatisation of Channel 4

Currently, Channel 4 reinvests its profits into commissioning and buying programmes from mostly British TV production companies, helping to support a key national industry.

Analysts believe that a privatised Channel 4 would face 40% to 50% cuts to its programming budget, and that as many as 60 production companies around the UK could be forced to shut.2

Threats to the BBC

The Government has imposed further cuts on our national public broadcaster, and indicated that it plans to abolish the BBC’s funding model entirely.

Threats to grassroots venues

Between 2007 and 2015, 35% of the grassroots music venues in the UK closed down.3

Many of the venues that are still open face a “perfect storm” of challenges including rising rents and business rates, and pressures from property development.4

Public library cuts and closures

Funding of British public libraries has been cut by 54% in real terms since 2009/10. Between 2010 and 2019, 773 libraries closed: almost 1 in 5.5

Fewer arts opportunities in for children and young people

In 2009/10, most primary-age school children participated in music activities. By 2019/20, only 35% did so.6

Since 2010 there has been a 43% decline in arts GCSE entries and a 26% decline in arts A Level entries.7

Funding cuts in higher education

Arts and creative courses have been identified by the Government as ‘not among its strategic priorities’. Since April 2021, HE providers have received 50% less funding from the Office for Students to meet the costs of delivering these courses. The former Education Secretary warned, “we would then potentially seek further reductions in future years”.

  1. Oxford Economics / Creative UK[]
  2. The Guardian[]
  3. Music Venue Trust[]
  4. DCMS Select Committee, Live music report, 2019[]
  5. Cipfa[]
  6. DCMS Taking Part survey[]
  7. Joint Council for Qualifications /AQA[]