CULTURE CITY AGREES ARTS FUNDING
Liverpool city council’s Executive Board has today approved an £8.45m arts budget which will maintain capital of culture funding levels in the city for the next two years.
A total of 67 arts organisations are to benefit after they successfully applied through a new bidding process which has radically altered the council’s approach to the arts.
From this year the emphasis is on better for value for money for council tax payers, with the bids scrutinised on how arts organisations can support the city’s vision for culture and regeneration in return for the Council sponsoring individual and organisational creative genius.
The council’s budget for the arts is equivalent to an inflation busting 6% rise year on year from 2005/06 to 2010/11.
Liverpool’s priority following European Capital of Culture 2008, which generated £800m for the regional economy and was hailed as the best ever programme, has been to consolidate the growth of the past five years. Overall the city council is investing £2m more in culture than before it established the Liverpool Culture Company in 2005.
The two year programme divided funding across three categories – Cultural Drivers, Cultural Contributors and Grass Root Innovators.
Cultural Drivers are those organisations whose programme forms the backbone of the city’s annual cultural offer in terms of their performance/exhibition programme and has a well developed, sustained participation programme that engages with the wider community as a core element of their activity. Bids of £50,000 or more were considered in this category.
Seven organisations fit this category and will collectively be eligible to receive £6.2m until April 2011. They are:
- DaDa Fest – which has been upgraded due to its outstanding work in Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture.
- Liverpool Biennial
- Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Theatres
- Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society
- Unity Theatre
- the Bluecoat
Cultural Contributors make up a range of arts and cultural organisations who are seen as making a key contribution towards the development of world class arts and culture infrastructure and the role that they play in creating a unique offer for the city. Successful projects had to meet one of the following criteria: Festivals, Young People and Communities and Innovation and bids of up to £30,000 were considered for organisations and up to £75,000 for festivals.
A total of 26 organisations will collectively be eligible to receive £1.126m over the next two years. They are:
- Africa Oye
- Brouhaha International
- Halloween Lantern Festival
- Homotopia Festival
- Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival
- Liverpool Comedy Festival
- Liverpool Design Festival
- Liverpool Irish Festival
- Writing on the Wall
Young People and Communities:
- The Picket Ltd
- Arts In Regeneration
- Twin Vision
- First Take Video Ltd
- The Rotunda
- 20 Stories High
- Pagoda Chinese Culture Centre
- Positive Impact
- The Windows Project
- Liverpool Centre for Arts Development
- Open Eye Gallery
- Momentum Theatre
- Metal Culture Ltd
- Static Gallery and Studio Ltd
As a legacy of 2008 the Arts Council England, Liverpool First and Liverpool Community Voluntary Service were also involved in the bidding process which resulted in the city council agreeing to annually fund 33 arts bodies – a growth of 25% on the previous three-year programme. In 2001 that figure was 7.
Grass Root Innovators is a strand which replaces the previous small grants programme. This was open to voluntary and community groups working with arts organisations or individual artists to deliver activities and projects at a community level. Bids of up to £5,000 were considered for 2009/10 year only.
A total of £100,000 has been set aside for 27 community arts organisations across the city over the next year. A further £100,000 will be available for this programme in 2010/11. Many of these projects reflect the city’s first post ’08 themed year – Environment.