Funding of the arts and heritage

Written evidence submitted by The Young Vic Theatre Company (arts 136)

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

1.1  Funding of the arts in the UK i
s a complex ecology  This will destabilised by substantial cuts from central and local government. Such cuts will have a profound impac t on the successful UK 30:30:30 model, an even sourcing of funds fr om box office revenue, private donations (from individuals, corporat es and foundations) and public investment.

1.2  This contrasts with the US mode
l where the virtual absence of public investment for theatre has retarded artistic research and confidence and that of northern Europe where an abundance of state support frequently generates work of a high quality which reaches an audience with a narrow base. Th e UK system has for years been acknowledged to be the most successful at investing in innovation and reaching across boundaries of culture, class and wealth.  Substantial reductions in public investment place this in jeopardy.

1.3  In our case, we have in the past
been consistently generated £2 for every £1 of public investment.

1.4  The proposed cuts will have an immediate i
mpact on our ability to produce which will have a knock-on affect on the very many companies with which we collaborate and mentor, formally and informally.

1.5  They will also severely affect our long term ability to fundraise from private donors, who, in our experience, support only the boldest, most original work.

1.6  The stability and security that st
ate investment provides enable us to do the research that gets this type of work off the ground in the first place.

1.7 Without such sustained investment our work will need to become more risk averse and consequently less commercially rewarding in the long term.

1.8  The number and diversity of artists we employ will be reduced.

1.9  A great part of the work of the Young Vic is with public sector organizations - from NHS trusts to Pupil Referral Units and Childrens Services departments. Cuts to health, law and social services budgets will have the effect that these organizations are no longer in a
position to partner with us. As a consequence, a whole range of projects with considerable social and cultural impact will be undelivered affecting the extensive programmes we run for children, local people and those most excluded in society.

1.10  This will be severely detrimental to our ability to fundraise, since we will be unable to create the projects which are most appealing to funders.

2  Our projections for the impact of the current cuts.

2.1  The medium-term effect will be a considerable shrinking of the size and long term
profitability of the creative industries and a reduction in the diversity of audiences and participants.

2.2  There will be less art. This will profoundly impact on the cultural life of the nation. Everyone will be affected.

2.3  There will be substantial job losses in organisations further to that already experienced by freelance artists and arts project workers.

2.4  Commercially successful work will continue. However its range will narrow and, without investment, it will only be available to those who can afford it. For example, commercial sponsorship will be insufficient to support cheap or free theatre ticket schemes of the kind we and many others operate.

3  On whether businesses and philanthropists can play a long-term role in funding arts at a national and local level.

3.1  They already do

3.2  For example, in our case they contributed a
p prox 30% of our income until 2008.

4   On what arts organisations can do to work more closely together in order to reduce duplication of effort and to make economies of scale:

4.1  We lead in promoting collaboration.   We co-produce with a large number and broad range of arts organizations each year, nationally and internationally.

4.2.  We run an associate company scheme, the o
nly one of its kind, offering accommodation, mentoring and skills development to emerging arts organizations.

4.3  We have initiated and are leading the first ever consortium of London theatres and venues which is producing a major series of international collaborations across London in 2012.

4.4. All these ventures are innovative a
nd require a degree of public investment to make them possible.

September 2010