Hard Facts to Swallow, a report by GPS Culture, states that between 2015 and 2018, 46.3 per cent of Ace’s grant-in-aid funding, taking into account region-specific funding for Major Partner Museums and music education hubs, will go to London organisations, despite approximately 85 per cent of the English population living outside the capital.

Outgoing Ace chief executive, Alan Davey said: “The authors raise a number of issues that are at the heart of our 10 year strategy, agreed with the art and culture secretary.

“We’ve been addressing the balance of funding between London and elsewhere since that strategy was launched in 2010, and we will build on that in our next finding period.”

The report states in its conclusion that: “Our research and analysis over the past 18 months illustrates the systemic inability of the Arts Council to reform its policy without external intervention.

“The forces of custom, practice and vested interest are just too strong, and the overall impression is of an increasingly closed system that operates with insufficient transparency.

“We contend that after the next general election any incoming administration should fundamentally review the arrangements for funding the arts and culture in England, including the Arts Council itself.”

Hard Facts to Swallow Report

Arts Council England’s response

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