Arts chief warns against over-reliance on funding from trusts and foundations

Philip Spedding
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Arts and Business director Philip Spedding has warned cultural organisations that raising increased amounts of funding through trusts and foundations will become unsustainable in the future.

He said arts groups that intend to source the majority of their money from these areas should “think very carefully” about doing this.

Speaking at an event organised by Westminster Forum Projects on funding in the cultural sector, Spedding said: “If you are planning on raising the majority of money from trusts and foundations think very carefully because I fear we are heading towards a cliff on this front.”

Referring to recent figures released by Arts and Business, which showed that the biggest increase in private sector support was from trusts and foundations, Spedding said he understood why organisations might be focussing on these areas.

However, he speculated that the increase in support was due to trusts using their capital money – rather than reallocating their spend on the arts instead of other areas, or becoming richer. He said that trusts would soon be advised to stop investing in this way.

Spedding added: “A lot of people are fixating on trusts and foundations - I get that and understand the figures would encourage them to do that, but think further forward and be careful.”