Written evidence submitted by the London
Borough of Southwark (arts 68)
Southwark has always been a creative borough
at the heart of London. Yesterday the home of Shakespeare and
Dickenstoday the home of London government, a world class
cultural centre and one of the UK's most vibrant cultural quarters.
Perhaps more than any other area of London, Southwark is associated
with arts and culture.
Southwark's culture is unique. It is a borough
of enormous cultural variety and potentialin its places,
people, institutions, history and diversity. It is home to Tate
Modern, Shakespeare's Globe, Imperial War Museum, Design Museum,
Siobhan Davies Dance Company, Dulwich Picture Gallery, University
of the Arts, South London Gallery, Shunt, Punchdrunk, London Bubble,
Brunel Engine House, Kids Company, Café Gallery Projects,
Thames Festival, Carnaval del Pueblo, Unicorn Theatre for Children,
London Dungeon, Fashion and Textile Museum, HMS Belfast, Borough
Market, Peckham Space, Bold Tendencies, to name just a few.
Cultural provision in the borough has shown
that communities can connect through shared activities and cultural
experiences. Artistic excellence and innovation in Southwark has
not been limited by the need to engage with diverse audiencesin
reality the opposite has been the case, and the levels of engagement
in the arts (47.4% for 2008-09) and for visits to museums and
galleries (64.4% for 2008-09) are relatively high. Arts and cultural
organisations in Southwark deliver on the key priorities of community
cohesion, social inclusion, improving the borough as a place to
live, work and visit, and increasing opportunities for local residents.
As such, they should be regarded as occupying a major place in
the "Big Society".
Arts and culture are an integral part of the
borough's dynamism, as a driving force within renewal, for tourism
and the local economy, for community cohesion and engagement,
and for creating vibrant local places. The investment in the arts
by central government, Arts Council and the local authority generates
£5 for every £1 invested. The Arts Council alone invests
just over £11 million pounds annually in the arts in Southwark
so the significance of this funding stream, and the partnership
with the local authority is crucial to sustaining a vibrant and
relevant arts and cultural sector.
Cultural tourism in the cultural quarter attracts
12 million people annually, generating £100 million pounds
of economic benefits (tate modern), and generating 4,000 jobs
in the Southwark area. The creative industries in Southwark employ
150, 000 people and are a growth area of the economy. With the
ongoing regeneration of the borough and new districts and town
centres at the Elephant and Castle, Canada Water, Bermondsey and
Peckham, the need to sustain support for arts and culture as a
driver of a more diverse economy in the borough is crucial. Entrepreneurship,
self employment, social enterprise and small businesses are important
aspects of this growth, and are features of creative industries.
The borough attracts and generates artistic
innovation and creativity. At the same time, Southwark can be
a challenging place to live and too many residents still struggle
to have a decent home, good job and healthy life. Arts and culture
have an important role to play in improving the quality of life
for local people. Children and young people have been a primary
focus of cultural provision in the borough with 300,000 participating
in cultural activities each year. Funding for arts and cultural
organisations to continue to provide free and affordable activities,
training, volunteering and routes into employment needs to be
maintained to ensure opportunities for all, and not just a privileged
Southwark aims to maintain the borough's position
as a leading part of London as a World City through its artistic
and cultural excellence. It also aims to ensure that the benefits
of its arts and cultural offereconomic, social and culturalimprove
life for local people. It recognises the impact of the economic
downturn on both the arts and cultural sector and the general
public and the importance of working in partnership to deliver
a cultural offer.
1. What impact recent, and future, spending
cuts from central and local government will have on the arts and
heritage at a national and local level
Larger institutions will struggle to maintain
funding levels. This will impact on creative programmes and also
on community, education and outreach provision. In the longer
term this will restrict new and diverse audiences and participants
in arts and culture. A number of smaller organisations have already
downsized or closed.
Organisations will be in competition with each
other. With the emphasis on philanthropic giving as a replacement
for government funding and subsidy, it is likely that the diversity
and innovation of national institutions will decrease, with funding
being sustained for well-established, mainstream organisations
Key capital projects have been curtailed, restricting
the expansion of organisations and renovation of dated buildings.
To maintain a world class cultural offer, a capital programme
needs to be retained.
Many arts organisations are multi-funded, or
partnership funded with national agencies and local authorities.
The spending cuts will impact on all the funding streams at the
same time, and it will inevitably lead to closure of a number
of medium and small-scale organisations. Reductions in local authority
spend will also limit the capacity of local authorities to provide
in-kind support in terms of premises and other infrastructure
Reduction in touring work nationally will mean
that some areas of the country will be disadvantaged.
Closure of organisations will mean closure of
buildings in some cases. There is a risk in some areas of urban
(and rural) blight through empty premises.
Increase in unemployment in the sector, restricting
growth of the creative economy. Publicly funded arts are a driver
for the creative industries and as a source of future jobs, should
not be curtailed. Young peopleschool leavers and graduateswill
be most significantly disadvantaged by shrinking the sector.
The sector is used to reductions in its funding.
However, the timescale for implementing cuts means that there
is usually limited time to make a real strategic change. It would
be preferable that funding reductions are phased over three to
2. What arts organisations can do to work
more closely together in order to reduce duplication of effort
and to make economies of scale
Southwark has strong arts and cultural partnerships,
notably the South Bank and Bankside Cultural Quarter. There is
significant scope for shared back office services, marketing,
ticketing and on-line services; and streamlined education, community
and outreach programmes between large institutions.
The arts and cultural infrastructure for London
authorities can be reviewed, with a view to shared services and
provision, in a similar way to the London Libraries pilot scheme.
This will, however, require time to pilot and implement.
Provision for children and young people can
be reviewed to maintain the range of arts opportunities for all
young people but to rationalise the numbers of programmes and
3. What level of public subsidy for the arts
and heritage is necessary and sustainable
Public subsidy for the arts and heritage in
the UK should ensure that there is provision to maintain excellence
and innovation in the arts and heritage on a national and regional
level. The eyes of the world will be on London in 2012 and it
is important that Festival 2012 can demonstrate the diversity
and excellence of culture in the UK.
It should ensure that there is support
for new organisations.
It should be part of the mixed income
model, which has been successful to date, and organisations should
be expected to earn income and generate funding, and to be financially
A balance needs to be maintained between
subsidy for national organisations, regional centres and local
Funding needs to incorporate revenue,
capital, and start-up loans, and other ways of investing in the
arts and heritage to generate financial return over a longer period
of time. Both core and project funding need to be available to
maintain sustainable organisations.
4. Whether the current system, and structure,
of funding distribution is the right one
We support the arms-length principle
of funding as an appropriate way of operating support for the
arts and heritage.
The current system and range of distributors
has been effective to date, with national and local funding opportunities
available. There is scope, however, for streamlining decision-making
processes between different authorities and decision-makers to
achieve more consolidated and targeted provision.
Stagnation in the funding system needs
to be reviewed to ensure that new organisations can get support.
A more streamlined and shared approach
to funding application, assessment and review processes.
Local authorities are a significant funder
of the arts and recognise that arts and cultural provision impact
positively on key priorities, including community cohesion, health
and well-being and quality of life. In the spending review, local
authorities' capacity to fund the arts and heritage is likely
to be significantly reduced with the Arts Council's and that of
other agencies. The negative of impact of reductions by all funding
agencies over a similar period of time must be taken into account.
5. What impact recent changes to the distribution
of National Lottery funding will have on arts and heritage organisations
The increase in the share apportionment for
arts, heritage and sport on 1 April, 2011 (18% each) and 1 April,
2012 (20% each) is to be welcomed. The National Lottery has been
an effective source of financial support for many projects in
Southwark since 1994. This increase will not however be sufficient
to replace the reductions in other funding streams.
6. Whether the policy guidelines for National
Lottery funding need to be reviewed
Duplication in funding support between the National
Lottery and other funders of community focused provision could
usefully be reviewed and streamlined.
7. The impact of recent changes to DCMS arm's-length
bodiesin particular the abolition of the UK Film Council,
and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council
There is a risk that in the abolition of arm's-lengths
bodies for arts and heritage that professionally informed leadership
and expertise for the discrete areas of arts and heritage will
be lacking. It is vital to maintain this if central government
wish to encourage economic growth in the arts and heritage sector,
and to maintain our international profile through creative excellence,
and through exporting creative products.
The accreditation system for museums has benefited
museums by ensuring quality whether the museum is large or small.
We believe that a similar accreditation scheme should be retained
to ensure diversity of quality provision at regional and local
levels. The system of small grants for museums administered by
the MLA has been very useful for new projects in museums and we
would like to see a similar level of flexible support retained.
The loss of professional agencies that set standards
and policies for the cultural sector, and encourage regional networks
and exchange, will have a detrimental effect on the sector in
the longer term. We question what will replace them and how long
it will take to establish an alternative system.
8. Whether businesses and philanthropists
can play a long-term role in funding arts at a national and local
We believe that businesses and philanthropists
should be encouraged to support the arts. However, this should
not be a replacement for public subsidy, but should form part
of multiple funding streams. The economic downturn is impacting
on businesses and sponsorship of the arts has reduced, so the
expectation that philanthropy and sponsorship can replace public
funding in the short or longer-term is unrealistic.
We note the majority of philanthropic giving
is focused on London, and 90% is for small or medium donations
(£1-£5000). The most significant donations are received
by national institutions for high profile programmes. We believe
that more can be done to encourage and inform potential donors
and sponsors about the impact that the arts can make, including
on a local level. Many organisations do not have the expertise
to attract sponsors and donors, and more could be done to skill
organisations up in this area.
9. Whether there need to be more Government
incentives to encourage private donations
More could be done to improve charitable giving,
particularly in respect of the tax breaks for indirect cash support
via an intermediary, as identified by Arts and Business.