On Saturday 12 October, the Culture Secretary announced the launch of a new £250m fund to support the culture and creative sector with soundbite “”Creative and cultural institutions are at the heart of our communities. The Cultural Investment Fund is the government’s biggest ever single investment in cultural infrastructure, local museums and neighbourhood libraries and will benefit communities across the country. This will help drive growth, rejuvenate high streets and attract tourists to our world-class cultural attractions.”
The art of words?
As someone who has clients within the culture and creative sector, this looks like good news, but whilst not wishing to get political, the announcement comes against backdrop of “years of spending cuts across the culture sector as part of an austerity drive” (as the Art Newspaper summed it up).
Allocation of the new fund
So better late than never – but before other entities engaged in the culture and creative sector start thinking about projects to utilise the fund, the following is worth noting from my reading of the details announced:
- £125m has been allocated for museums and libraries
- £18.5m has been allocated to York’s National Railway Museum
- £7m has been allocated to Coventry and the UK City of Culture programme
- £90m will be invested through the Cultural Development Fund (see further below)
Also, per my reading, it would appear that the money will be invested at £50m per annum across the next five years.
Administration of the £250m
“The £250 million investment will be delivered by Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), with Arts Council England (ACE) having a key role in distributing the fund. Both the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England will also play important roles, particularly in the delivery of the museums maintenance fund.”
The state of readiness of the fund to administer applications etc. can be gleaned from the quote by Arts Council Chair “We’ll work closely with Government to develop the detail of the programme in the coming days and weeks.”
So, no details yet…
Cultural Development Fund
Per the Cultural Development Fund website, “This fund aims to allow cities and towns to invest in creative, cultural and heritage initiatives that lead to culture-led economic growth and productivity.” Initial funding for this programme also came from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) – who made £20 million available last June. One of the applications successful in bidding in for a share of that £20m was Plymouth – see link.
At least an element of this funding appears to be part of the Creative Industries: Sector Deal.
Watch this (creative) space
We will keep our eyes and ears peeled for more details of the programme and specifically how our clients may directly apply for funding (if applicable).