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.