U.K. Funding Freeze Means Small Arts Groups Left Out Entirely

Classic Arts News   U.K. Funding Freeze Means Small Arts Groups Left Out Entirely
Several large U.K. arts groups will get cost of living increases from Arts Council England in 2007-08 despite the funding freeze announced by the government last December, the London Guardian reports.

The result of this decision is that 121 small arts groups will lose their ACE funding completely, and 54 will take large cuts. Among the affected organizations are, according to BBC News, the Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra and the Lincoln Early Music Festival.

The Royal Opera and the English National Opera will get an increase of 2.75 percent, which equals the estimated inflation rate. With inflation, the ACE estimates that the government's freeze on funding—which keeps the council at its 2005 allotment of Ô£413 million—will amount to a Ô£34 million loss.

Christopher Frayling, chair of ACE, said, "We had to make some tough choices. The balance we have achieved is remarkable, but it's not sustainable."

In order to free up more money for arts groups, ACE cut the budget for Creative Partnerships, an arts-in-the-schools program, by Ô£13 million.

"We can't do this again," Frayling added. "There are real cuts now, but there would be real real cuts in the arts next time." Frayling said he plans to lobby for a large increase from the government in the next round.

Some organizations beginning substantial development projects received large funding increases from ACE. Those companies include Opera North, the Lowry, and the Sage.

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