Arts and culture outside London will receive funding in Leveling Up white paper

The government has unveiled plans to invest funds in arts and culture outside the capital.

Ahead of the Leveling Up white paper, due out this week, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said more than 100 locations outside of London will benefit from extra money to from 2023.

Arts Council England will identify venues and DCMS said 100% of the additional funding for the group agreed in the recent spending review will go to supporting culture and creativity outside London.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer on a recent visit to Wade Ceramics in Stoke-on-Trent (Jacob King/PA)

Places such as Stoke-on-Trent, Barnsley, Rochdale and Wigan could end up getting extra support under the plans.

DCMS told the PA news agency that the amount of additional funding for areas outside London would be determined at a later date.

In the spending review, presented to Parliament in October, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said more than £850million was being invested in cultural and heritage infrastructure.

A total of £52m is also to be spent on museums and cultural and sporting bodies from this year to help them recover from the pandemic, while a further £49m in 2024-2025 will be given afterwards.

DCMS is also working with Arts Council England to identify a number of cultural organizations that wish to move out or increase their presence outside of London.

The government also plans to allocate more than £150m of investment through the Culture Investment Fund, the majority of winners of which are also expected to come from outside London.

National arts and culture organizations will also be asked to be more ambitious on diversity, both in the board and the workforce, in order to engage with a wider audience. and better reflect the communities they serve across the country.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: ‘From my very first day in the department I have made it clear that I want to increase access to arts and culture, particularly in parts of the UK which have too often been neglected.

“Artistic talent can be found in every corner of the country. Funding for the arts should be distributed equally – but for too long there has been an imbalance in how this money is distributed. We will address this as part of our plans to improve the country.

The Wedgwood Museum
The Wedgwood Museum in Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent (Rui Vieira/PA)

“I don’t want anyone to think the arts might not be for them because of where they were born or where they live. Everyone should have the chance to enjoy or work in the world of arts and culture, and this decision will make a fundamental difference in cities that have been left behind for far too long.

Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, said: “This very welcome new funding announced by the Secretary of State means that we will be able to accelerate our investment in towns and cities across the country, building on the increases we have achieved over the past few years.

“Spreading our investment more evenly means we’re sharing the magic, sharing the excitement, sharing the possibilities for creativity and culture for the people and places that deserve more attention.”

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