London’s arts bias is starving the North East and elsewhere of vital investment, new research today reveals.
The capital receives almost ten times per head the funding heading to the rest of the UK, with lottery cash, the Government and the Arts Councils all criticised for a London bias in the new report.
Now key arts figures such as Melvyn Bragg and producer David Puttnam have lent their support to the Rebalancing Our Cultural Capital report which calls for a £600m redistribution to ensure London “irrigates rather than drains” national arts organisations outside of the capital.
Peter Stark, one of the report authors, said it was no longer acceptable that London took up around £700m a year compared to £380m in arts funding for the rest of the UK.
The latest Arts Council figures showed that some £5.59 per head goes to arts organisations in the North East compared to £21.33 per head in London
Mr Stark, a former director of Northern Arts and a professor in cultural policy andmanagement at Northumbria University, said: “The North East did very well initially out of lottery funding, but what we see now is a double whammy as it copes with this bias and local government funding cuts which hit its arts sector while London largely avoids the same problem.”