50p for culture

Visit 50pforculture.org
In 2014 we commissioned a poll to ask how much local authorities should invest in arts and culture: 63% said 50p or more but the average is less than 16p

We know that politicians and funders are facing tough choices as they try to balance their books. In recent years, many have seen culture as an easy target, and chosen to cut it disproportionately. The research we have commissioned shows that far from being a minority concern, this is something that constituents really care about: most people – almost two thirds – want local authority culture funding to triple.

Because investment levels are so small – less than half a penny in every pound – cutting them doesn’t balance the books. Instead, it will make independent cultural organisations unsustainable and makes it harder for most people to experience good, affordable art and culture. Access to it should not be a postcode lottery, or depend on people being rich. Locally and nationally, we have a lot to lose if culture continues to be cut at the levels we are seeing.

In a national poll in 2014 people were asked:
“Local Authorities are under intense financial pressure. Arts, museums and heritage are not statutory services. In total how much, if anything, do you think Local Authorities should be investing per person, per week, to support these activities in their areas?”

This survey shows that nearly 90% of those responding want local authorities to support the arts. Local authorities have a long and proud history of bringing culture to their communities and have played a major part in making the UK a world leader in the creative industries.

This campaign brought together new research, data analysis and a website (www.50pforculture.org) where residents in England could find out how much local authorities planned to invest in culture in their area in 2013/14.

The campaign encouraged people in England to visit www.50pforculture.org and enter their postcode to discover the level of investment in their area. If it was high we encouraged people to then let their local representatives how pleased they were are; if it was low, to tell them why they wanted it to be higher.

The website is still live, so you can still enter your postcode to see what the 2013/14 levels of spending were. It is probably fair to assume that these amounts will have dipped even further in the intervening years.

Visit the campaign site