NCVO is sceptical about arts funds

Umbrella body the NCVO has said the Government's pledge to give an extra £50m to Arts Council England will not mitigate the loss of lottery arts funding to pay for the Olympics.

Last week, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport announced a three-year programme of extra Arts Council funding to support artists and performers producing world-class work. However, the NCVO said it doubted whether the money would reach groups that lost out when funds were diverted to the Olympics.

"It seems likely that most of these funds will go to elite organisations rather than grass-roots projects," said Pete Moorey, parliamentary and media manager at the NCVO. "Even if they do trickle down, we are still talking about less funding for community arts than would have been available via the lottery."

The Arts Council has contributed £112.5m to the games. In 2005/06, it awarded between 58 and 81 per cent of its lottery funding to third sector groups.

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