Funding of the arts and heritage

Written evidence submitted by Peterborough Attractions Group (arts 92)


1. Peterborough Attractions is a co-operative of all the heritage attractions who have joined together to promote the rich diversity of the area. Established in 2002 by the groups themselves and the membership now comprises of twelve main sites, including a medieval cathedral, stately homes, volunteer run museums and archaeological sites, heritage railways and the Peterborough Cultural Trust. It promotes and facilitates partnership working between attractions, the sharing of best practice and joint marketing, under the tag line Heritage that is fun for all.

2. Together the members of the Peterborough Attractions own, manage and care for the majority of publically accessible heritage assets in Peterborough.

3. Peterborough is located 78 miles north of London, midway between the East Anglian coast and the Midlands, in Cambridgeshire.  The city itself covers an area of 343 square kilometres and is the sub-regional centre for North Cambridgeshire, South Lincolnshire and East Northamptonshire.  Peterborough is the most deprived upper tier authority in the region.  It ranks 100 out of 354 local authorities in England and 4 out of 48 in the East of England, where a rank of 1 is the most deprived.

4. The Peterborough area retains an exceptionally rich and varied historic environment. The expanding City of Peterborough, with its historic core, modern ‘township’ and commercial suburbs, contrasts with the relatively undeveloped rural hinterland of farmland and villages nestling in the beautiful classic English countryside.

5. The architectural heritage of our historic city, towns and villages, historic buildings, monuments and sites and the rich archaeology to be found in the area are rarely fully appreciated. 

· There are over 1000 listed historic, non-listed buildings and structures and include the Guildhall and Town Hall.

· Over 60 scheduled monuments and sites.

· Non-scheduled sites and monuments, parks and gardens.

· The natural and rural environment features – landscapes, woodlands, rivers, ditches, hedgerows, walls, etc.

· Built environment features – urban features, townscape, street patterns, village character, etc.

6. In 2007 alone the heritage venues (members of the Peterborough Attractions group) attracted over 387 thousand visitors as part of the total number of visitors to Peterborough.  The East of England Tourism report 2006, estimated that the total impact on the local economy through tourist visits to the Peterborough area in 2007 as £253,098,000.

Inquiry Questions

What impact recent, and future, spending cuts from central and local
Government will have on the arts and heritage at a national and local

7. Locally it is expect that the removal the MLA will be detrimental to the museums sector especially smaller independent museums that rely on the capacity building, advice and small grants programme. The museum sector needs a voice and a body which has high level access into government to promote its needs in a local and national level.

8. There are signs in decline in the number of people working in local authorities conservation and archaeology posts, in Peterborough cuts have affected the cultural trust and the council with the loss of a full time archaeologist and the removal of conservation officers grant scheme. There needs to be proper resourcing for local authority and historic property services.


What arts organisations can do to work more closely together in order
to reduce duplication of effort and to make economies of scale;

9. Peterborough Attractions coordinates the marketing of heritage in the Peterborough region. This reduces the duplication of effort and makes economies of scale.  The collaborative effort of the attractions makes the organisations more visible and saves on resource and funding. It creates a public enthusiasm for heritage both as a family day out and as a valuable learning tool.

10. Peterborough Attractions also promotes heritage as an important part of the economic health and regeneration of Peterborough to help the city to reach its strategic aims, including having Pride in Peterborough.

What level of public subsidy for the arts and heritage is necessary and

Whether the current system, and structure, of funding distribution is
the right one;

11. The Heritage Lottery Funding alone cannot solve all funding issues as it only funds project costs and not running costs. There is no equivalent for the arts and business for the heritage sector, so the link between private investment and heritage has been less strongly argued.

What impact recent changes to the distribution of National Lottery
funds will have on arts and heritage organisations?

12. We welcome the proposal to restore the lottery to the original good causes following the Olympic Games, as this will enable the HLF to distribute an extra £50 million a year.

Whether the policy guidelines for National Lottery funding need to be

13. Lottery funding should not be allowed to be a substitute for resources which used to come from local government or from regional development funding. In the case of Peterborough, the funding Peterborough Attractions has received from EEDA for marketing has allowed the group to produce joint marketing which otherwise would have been too expensive for some of the smaller members.

The impact of recent changes to DCMS arm’s-length bodies - in
particular the abolition of the UK Film Council and the Museums,
Libraries and Archives Council;

14. The closure of the MLA has left those in the process of accreditation unsure of the next step and a bit of a black hole. The advice and guidance given by this body is a valuable resource, especially to volunteer run museums who cannot obtain full time professionals.

Whether businesses and philanthropists can play a long-term role in
funding arts at a national and local level;

15. Peterborough Attractions believe that businesses and philanthropists have a long term role in city; however funds are needed for projects around maintenance and basic up keep that would not be appealing to philanthropists. Naming rights maybe limited and sponsorship events would be lower than those in major cities with a more extensive heritage infrastructure, e.g. London or Birmingham.


16. Businesses are good in support in kind, for example the support of Perkins to Railworld by team days and donations of unused equipment.

Whether there need to be more Government incentives to encourage
private donations.

17. Peterborough Attractions all use gift aid and promote it to their visitors and donors, but some find it difficult to understand and claim and are therefore are missing out on money they could be claiming. A simplified paper system would be an advantage and more assistance given to those who cannot to allow them to process the gift aid electronically.

The Committee will also examine other areas of interest that are raised
during the course of its inquiry.

September 2010