Funding news - Museums Association

Funding news

Future tense
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Simon Stephens
The Liverpool Biennial begins this month following the success of the 2008 event, which attracted a million visitors and generated more than £26m for the region, according to the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA).

Liverpool Biennial artistic director Lewis Biggs said it was fortunate that much of the £3m funding was found before the election. The real worry is for the 2012 event, when its main funder, the NWDA, will no longer exist. Biggs believes the best it can hope for is 75 per cent of the funding secured this year.

Other arts festivals are facing challenging times. The Sheffield Contemporary Art Forum (SCAF), which runs the Art Sheffield festival, held earlier this year, has just had its funding application turned down by Arts Council England but has been invited to submit a scaled-down proposal.

SCAF chairwoman Sheila McGregor said money was already tight as the big trusts and foundations had been less forthcoming this year than in the past. Art Sheffield 2010’s programme budget was £42,000 compared with £98,000 for the 2008 event.

The Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art recently had its grant from Creative Scotland upped by 50 per cent for the next event in 2012, although this is dependent on the Scottish government’s October spending review.

Festival producer Jean Cameron hopes the increase will encourage the arts, tourism and regeneration organisations that supported it in 2010, when the budget was £700,0000, to give more for the 2012 event.

“The worry is what happens after 2012,” said Cameron, who is reviewing the funding programme for 2014 and 2016.

Simon Stephens

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