We’re incredibly disappointed that the Government hasn’t listened to the voice of the arts sector and has pressed ahead with the damaging proposals to cut Higher Education arts courses funding.
Provision to support artists from all backgrounds to train and build careers is one of the reasons why the UK’s arts sector is genuinely world-leading. Cutting off funding for these courses will not only negatively impact the pipeline of talent coming through to arts venues across the country, but also increase class divisions and disproportionately affect the less well off. We are risking a situation where only those in a privileged bubble can afford to build careers for themselves in the arts, and we don’t think that’s acceptable.
Furthermore, in cutting funding for arts education and using funding STEM as an excuse, the Government is deliberately ignoring the broad crossover between the arts and STEM and the well-documented benefits of the arts on people’s mental health and general wellbeing. Our own economic impact study showed that in 2019, we delivered £2 million in NHS cost savings through these demonstrated benefits.
They are also ignoring the economic impact of the arts, and the part we have to play in the country’s recovery from the pandemic. Before the pandemic hit, the creative industries were growing five times faster than the UK economy as a whole, and generated over £111 billion per year.
If we truly are to “Build Back Better”, we would strongly ask the Government to reconsider these cuts, which will harm the UK’s recovery from the pandemic, increase division and lower our standing on the world stage.
Director and CEO