Government funding for 'Festival of Brexit' - Museums Association

Government funding for ‘Festival of Brexit’

Chancellor Rishi Sunak makes announcement in spending review
Brexit Dcms Festival
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Simon Stephens
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Chancellor Rishi Sunak
Chancellor Rishi Sunak HM Treasury

A festival to showcase the UK's creativity and innovation was among the projects that received support in chancellor Rishi Sunak’s spending review this week.

Festival UK* 2022, which has been dubbed the Festival of Brexit by many, will take place in 2022 and was given £29m in the spending review as part of the settlement for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The total budget is £120m.

Festival UK* 2022 will comprise 10 events created by groups drawn from science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. Four commissions will be led by groups from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and six by UK-wide teams.

There are currently 30 creative teams taking part in the Festival UK* 2022 R&D Project. Museum and arts organisations involved include Disability Arts Cymru; Imperial War Museums; Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art; National Museums Northern Ireland; Science Museum Group; Tate; and V&A Dundee.

In a recent blog on the Festival UK* 2022 website, its chief creative officer, Martin Green, the former Hull 2017 City of Culture chief executive, wrote: “To be clear, this is not a festival of Brexit, it never has been. Neither is it a rebranding exercise. Festival UK has been set up as an independent company bringing new, funded opportunities for talented and forward-thinking creatives from science, technology, engineering and maths, as well as the arts, to collaborate in ways they might never have imagined.”

Overall, the DCMS was given a 2.3% average real terms increase per year in core resource funding from 2019-20 to 2021-22 in the spending review. The department’s capital budget increases by £135m in cash terms next year, which includes investment in digital infrastructure.

More than £150m has been earmarked for 2021-22 events, including the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the celebrations for the Queen’s Jubilee, as well as Festival UK* 2022.

Comments (6)

  1. Steve Davis says:

    I just had to read this ‘Brexit Festival’ article for a second time and then checked the date to be sure I hadn’t missed Christmas and it was April 1st again…I have been fortunate to work through Covid so far and not had any money from the Government, but reading this load of twaddle is just unbelievable.
    An industry I work in is being ground into the dust and these morons in Westminster want to celebrate making things worse…

    1. Caroline Bray says:

      Controlling the purse strings is a good way to prevent any of those inconvenient themes being raised by the lefty activists in the arts who think Britain’s past should be addressed before we move into the glorious future of post-Brexit joy.

  2. Martin Sach says:

    I was recently reading a guide to the South Bank Exhibition, 1952, part of the Festival of Britain. It had a spirit of forward-looking, hopefulness about it that would be great to recreate once the covid-19 crisis is a memory. In 2022 we will hopefully be relatively virus-free, back to normal opening hours, and it will be a good time to start showcasing the talents of our industry, the treasures of our heritage and culture, and much more besides, to rejuvenate our tourism industry, and inspire people to believe in, and more importantly work towards, a prosperous future that will support our arts and culture, including museums.

  3. Jonathan Gammond says:

    Just think what our sector can achieve in terms of human happiness and individual and collective well-being and all for the price of load of dodgy imported PPE that had to go straight to landfill.

  4. Dusty RIchmond says:

    And yet it took a footballer to point out that children were literally starving to prise money from this government…

  5. Alexander Goodger says:

    I wonder if the commissions are open to all museums

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