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Where to get arts funding in ’14/ ’15

Written by Marliese Andexer 17 / 01 / 2014

The Arts Council England (ACE) has revealed a 2.24% decrease in its budget for 2015/2016. This is much less than expected due to a £62.5 million subsidy from the National Lottery, raising questions if the move breaches the “additionality principle”. With this, and the overall changing landscape of funding in mind, we look at where to get arts funding in ’14/’15.

An disused shop front with the tagline 'save art' painted over the facade

The National Lottery’s support raises questions relating to the long standing “additionality principle”. The rule declares the National Lottery, which is state owned, can only donate to causes which would not happen without their support. The ACE claims the changes will not breach the guidelines but has said some beneficiaries will be completely lottery funded and others by grant in aid.

£334 million pounds is on offer for theatres, dance companies, musicians, galleries and opera houses for 2015/2016 from ACE. Organisations have ten weeks to submit their applications and prove that they are worthy of grants available.

 “These remain austere times . . . We must continue to invest in a way that ensures a healthy cultural ecology all over the country.” Alan Davey, Chief Executive Arts Council England.

If a vast sum of ACE’s money goes to organisations already receiving regular funding from ACE, where can small to mid-sized arts organisations attain funding for the coming years?

Late last year the Arts Venture Fund, co-created by Investing for Good and the Cabinet office, announced a social investment fund solely for the arts sector. With a budget of £10 million to assist start-up or medium sized projects for the elderly, education schemes for young people and other demographics that may not engage with arts and culture on a regular basis.

For organisations which fall outside of the Art Venture Fund’s requirements, there is the ever expanding universe of crowd funding. Last year saw video Star Citizen smash its $500,000 target attaining more than $2 million on Kick Starter.

Cultural ventures which fared well from crowd funding include Veronica Mars, which nearly tripled its £2 million dollar targeted with a staggering $5.7 million, and The Tesla Museum – which raised $1.37 million after posting a target of $850,000 in 2012.

a graph depicting the money raised for a series of kickstarter campaigns

Crowd funding success stories

The overriding issue with funding is that the reduction in financial support is at odds with the growth of the industry. The Department of Media, Culture and Sport has revealed that the arts sector is the fastest growing in the country, expanding by 8.6% in recent years and worth £71.4 billion per annum.

So if you’re a national institution with ACE backing or a local youth theatre utilising crowd funding, Impact can help with your marketing strategy and implementation. To discuss what we can do for you e-mail hello@impactideas.co.uk or call  0207 729 5978.

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