On Friday the Department for Culture Media and Sport announced with great fanfare an extra Â£50 million of funding for the Arts Council by 2011.
The organisationâ€™s funding will rise from Â£417 million this year to Â£467 million in 2010\11, a real-terms increase year-on-year of 1.1 per cent (or 12 per cent in cash terms across the whole period). Grant aid to Englandâ€™s national museums and galleries will increase from Â£302 million this year to Â£332 million in 10/11, an increase of slightly above inflation.
The Arts Council’s response is pretty jubilant, as you’d expect.
â€œThis is fantastic news – the Government has acted on the case we have made for the arts.
â€œItâ€™s a recognition of the work of our artists and arts organisations whose energy and imagination have made our cultural life genuinely the envy of the world.”
Good news, obviously, given the concerns about the Olympics taking all the cash, but let’s keep things in a little perspective. The proposed replacement of the Trident nuclear deterrent system is budgeted at Â£15-20 billion. Good to see we’ve got our priorities straight.
Thanks to Jack Dour for the heads up