We joined together, we made our case, and we won! Nottingham City Council has scrapped their plan to cut local funding of arts organisations by 37%.1
It’s a fantastic result for our first local campaign. We delivered 3,659 hits to the Council’s budget consultation. Of all the submissions the Council received, around two thirds were about their planned cut to the arts.2
This shows the power of the Campaign we’re building together, and our potential to make positive change happen right across the UK.
Announcing the change of policy, the Leader of Nottingham City Council said:
“In considering the comments of those who participated in the consultation we have to listen … I am taking the unusual step of proposing an amendment to our own budget … The arts are important … it’s really important that we try to minimise the cuts to their valuable work.” 3
Adam Penford, Artistic Director of Nottingham Playhouse, said:
“We are immensely grateful to Nottingham City Council for reducing the level of cut in 2021-22. We do not underestimate the enormous pressure that Local Authorities are under. A massive thanks to all of you at the Public Campaign for the Arts for your time and efforts. It’s really appreciated!”
We’re building a national alliance that can react in a fast and targeted way, whenever and wherever the arts are threatened. Please invite others or make a donation if you can, to strengthen our Campaign for the next crunch moment.
We all understand that local authorities are under significant financial pressure due to the pandemic and several years of reduced funding from central government. But on average, councils have already cut their annual arts and culture budgets by more than a third since 2010.4
This is not the time for more big cuts. As one Nottingham councillor noted in this week’s meeting,
“We know as we build back out of the Covid crisis that the arts and entertainment industry will be a key part of it, bringing back jobs and life into the city centres. I want to thank the Playhouse for the excellent work that they do reaching children in our city by their outreach drama groups. Yes kids need to read and write, but they also need to sing and dance and act.” 5
Our Campaign is expressing the benefits of art and culture to all of us. By continuing to join up, we can protect the arts in our communities and secure their vital role in the UK’s recovery from the pandemic.
If you know of similar consultations or plans for cuts in your area, please let us know. Together, we can make a real difference.
Thank you for being part of the Public Campaign for the Arts.
1 Source: My Nottingham News, Council agrees budget for recovery following difficult Covid year
2 Source: Nottingham City Council, Agenda 08/03/2021
3 Source: Nottingham City Council, City Council Meeting 08/03/2021
4 Source: Cultured Communities: the crisis in local funding for arts and culture, p13
5 Source: Nottingham City Council, City Council Meeting 08/03/2021