The Arts Council England today announced the results of the National Portfolio funding applications – a process in which all organizations that previously received support from the government, via ACE, had to reapply in response to reduced funding for the arts. Of the 1,333 applications made, 638 have been turned down, including those by 206 former regularly funded organizations. The latter will now either have to make up the shortfall from alternative sources or close. Those that have been successful however seem to have, on the whole, their funding increased: an example perhaps of the ACE's publicised policy of "no ‘equal cuts for all".
Jeremy Hunt, the politically ambitious Culture Secretary, responded to the Arts Council's announcement thus: “While this is obviously a difficult day for many arts organisations the Government has limited cuts to frontline arts organisations and at the same time increased significantly the amount of Lottery money going to the arts. This means that the Arts Council’s overall annual budget will reduce by £20 million (11.8 per cent) by April 2015, putting it in a much better position than many other parts of the public sector. The UK has some of the best culture in the world and we are doing all we can to support it through the challenges of dealing with the deficit, including measures to boost the amount of private giving going to the arts.”
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