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Short funding terms, standstill grants and government cuts among key challenges for arts sector, claims Paul Hamlyn Foundation review

A review by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation has said government cuts among key challenges for arts sector
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Arts organisations are being prevented from planning effectively because funding terms are not long enough, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation has claimed.

In a newly published review, the grant-giving organisation said short-term statutory funding means arts charities are “limited in their ability” to plan ahead for the future.

Challenges are also posed by standstill funding, meaning grants do not rise in line with inflation, as well as local and national government budget reductions, which is increasing inequality of opportunity.

These findings follow analysis of about 450 grants made by the foundation over a period of three years, and aim to pull together challenges and trends for the whole sector.

The review also reveals an increase in partnerships and co-productions, as well as collaborations between schools and arts organisations.

The report points to this style of working as an effective long-term plan, and suggests cultural organisations need to continue developing this area in future.

The foundation said over the next year it would use the review to help shape the way it can respond to the challenges outlined in future.

Tom Wylie, who is a trustee and also chairs PHF’s evidence and learning advisory group, said: “The foundation is committed to making sure our knowledge goes as far as possible to assist those working in the diverse fields in which we operate.”

He said the 2018 report provided “valuable insight” into “the complex societal landscape that many of our grantees and the people they support are navigating”.

The foundation’s director of evidence and learning, Jane Steele, added: “Reports from grantees and commissioned research and evaluation all help us to spot trends and judge our effectiveness as a grant-maker. Analysis guides us to where we can do better, differently or sustain activity to have the maximum impact in the areas we support.”

The full report can be found here. 

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