Grunts for the Arts


The Beautiful Age
April 25, 2008, 4:49 pm
Filed under: The Saga of the Arts Council

Once there was the Arts Council, and the Arts Council was good.

It funded the arts nicely and whilst all the people weren’t happy all the time, and there was never going to be enough money to fund every artist’s project – there was a cosy budget of £83 million for a year’s worth of project funding.

This golden age was the 2006/7 financial year and the fund was known amongst the faithful as Grants for the Arts.

But then disaster and cataclysm descended. The powers that be decided that they should redirect £625 million of Lottery Money from its Good Causes fund (the Arts Council, English Heritage and Sport England) in order for the 2012 Olympics to remain within its ever-escalating budget.

This devastation included an immediate 35% reduction in Grants for the Arts money to £54 million in 2007/8.

Shock, fear and outrage descended on the arts community and with the governments Comprehensive Spending Review only a matter of months away, there was a real sense that further cuts would ensue.

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