Arts Council England will increase National Lottery spending outside London, chief executive Darren Henley says

In a speech today, Henley will also ask the government not to cut ACE funding further in the autumn Spending Review

Darren Henley
Darren Henley

Arts Council England will increase the proportion of National Lottery funding it spends outside London, according to its new chief executive.

Darren Henley will say in a speech in Hull today that the funding body will raise the amount of the funds spent in the regions by five percentage points so that by the end of 2018 at least 75 per cent of National Lottery revenue will be invested outside the capital.

Speaking at an event to celebrate Hull becoming City of Culture 2017, Henley will say the change will support greater interchange between the capital and other parts of England.

A flourishing London, however, is essential to the health of arts and culture nationwide, he will also say.

The House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee said last year that the Arts Council must urgently address a "clear funding imbalance" for the arts that favoured London.

Henley will also appeal to the government not to cut the Arts Council's funding any further in the Spending Review in the autumn.

Its funding from the Department for Culture Media and Sport has fallen by a third since 2010 to £447m in 2012/13.

Henley will also announce a new £35m fund, called Ambition for Excellence, that will develop talent and leadership in the arts and arts infrastructure through activities including outdoor arts and festivals and international collaborations. Up to £31.7m of the fund will be invested outside London.

Henley will say: "I believe that creative talent is everywhere. But opportunity is not. Not yet. And that’s what this investment I’ve announced today will help change."

He will also say that wants to develop a 25-year plan for developing creative talent across the country.

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