Friday, March 16, 2007

Gravy train derailment fears

The possibility that arts funding might be affected by the costs of the Olympics is worrying the National Campaign for the Arts:

Press release - 16 March 2007

Response to funding for the Olympics

Following the Secretary of State’s statement in Parliament today on the funding of the Olympics, Louise de Winter, Director of the National Campaign for the Arts said:

“We have always been supporters of the Olympics, seeing the potential opportunities to the arts community for a strong Cultural Olympiad. However, the proposed transfer of an additional £675 million from the lottery to fund the Olympics shortfall represents a “double whammy” for the arts and other good causes. That figure represents one and half times the budget to the Arts Council, a massive amount of funding to be lost to the arts.

“At a time when the Prime Minister has welcomed the valuable contribution our sector makes to Britain’s economic and social wellbeing, we are now looking to the forthcoming CSR to deliver at least an inflation-linked settlement for the arts.

“The arts can be a way of making the Olympics more meaningful, more memorable, more exciting. We see the Cultural Olympiad as central to the whole Olympic festival, so it should not be one or the other; the arts are at the heart of 2012 and were crucial to London's winning Olympic bid. ”

UPDATE: It's going to be interesting to track increased funding from general taxation for organisations and projects that would normally have received their finance from other sources, like the lottery, now being diverted to the Olympics.

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