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Enquiry to probe funding for culture in UK cities

Virgin Money chief executive Jayne-Anne Gadhia is to chair the Cultural Cities Enquiry Virgin Money chief executive Jayne-Anne Gadhia is to chair the Cultural Cities Enquiry
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A major enquiry into funding for culture in cities has been launched, as local authority arts budgets continue to decline.

After gathering evidence, the Cultural Cities Enquiry will produce a report later this year, providing recommendations to policy makers, funders and arts providers to address the challenges they face.

Virgin Money chief executive Jayne-Anne Gadhia will chair the enquiry, which was commissioned by Arts Council England along with partners including Core Cities UK, Key Cities and Creative Scotland.

Other commissioners include Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council of Wales and BOP Consulting.

The enquiry’s board will be made up of experts from a variety of sectors, including ACE chair Nicholas Serota, economist Bridget Rosewell and deputy chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund Seona Reid.

Areas the report will examine include how culture’s contribution to government priorities such as integrated communities, loneliness or skills and education could unlock new funding streams.

The enquiry will also look at using tax incentives to encourage cultural investment and supporting arts organisations to develop sources of commercial income.

It will also investigate whether providing incentives to developers could help provide more spaces for culture.

Gadhia said: “I firmly believe that culture can and should be a force for social and economic good, bringing together communities and driving investment to foster growth.

“I hope that through this enquiry, we will be able to provide creative and practical recommendations to really improve the ability of our cities to invest in culture, for the benefit of all.”

An inaugural board meeting for the enquiry is taking place today (April 18) in Lewisham, London, with evidence for the report to be gathered during a further six round table events in other UK cities.

There is also an online call for evidence, which is inviting contributions until May 30.

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