Liverpool City Council is a partner on the Creative Europe-funded CreArt project

Reports highlight impact of Creative Europe on UK culture

Geraldine Kendall Adams, 30.07.2018
More than £16m awarded to culture and creative organisations since 2014
With Brexit day drawing closer, two reports released earlier this month have highlighted the extent of support given to the UK's culture sector by the Europe-wide funding programme Creative Europe.

Commissioned by the Creative Europe Desk UK, the reports - titled the Impact of Creative Europe in the UK and Creative Europe in the UK 2017 - aim to provide supporting evidence for decision-makers regarding the UK's future in Creative Europe beyond Brexit.

They assess both the monetary and non-monetary impact of the programme, including the effect it has had on building international networks, growing audiences, and generating jobs and skills.

The research showed that 10% of Creative Europe's funds went to the UK last year. In spite of the 2016 referendum result, UK participation in the programme grew in 2017, with 10 more organisations supported than in the previous year. In all, 40 out of the 157 applications that received funding in 2017 involved UK organisations.

Out of the fund's culture sub-programme, €3.8m (£3.4m) was allocated to UK cultural and creative organisations in 2017. They have received €18.9m (£16.8m) in total from the sub-programme since 2014.

The research found that those organisations have more than doubled their grants through match funding, leveraging more than €20m (£17.8m) between 2014-17. It recommended that stakeholders should work to secure the UK's continued participation in the programme given the strong evidence of benefits delivered to UK cultural organisations.

Recent funded projects include CreArt: Network of Cities for Artistic Creation, a €1.54m (£1.37m) project between European countries of which Liverpool City Council is a partner, and Voices of Solidarity, a €200,000 (£177,950) project for refugees and asylum seekers led by the Midlands-based company ArtReach.

The reports also highlighted the importance of Creative Europe-supported networks such as the Network of European Museum Organisations (Nemo).

Neil Ballantyne, the manager of Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, told researchers: "The most valuable thing was discovering the opportunities for joint projects that existed, as well as the possibilities of funding that I hadn't realised we were eligible for. The experience of Nemo made me want to participate in many more events."

There are indications that some access to EU funding may be possible for UK organisations after Brexit. The government’s white paper on the future UK-EU relationship, published earlier this month, proposed a new "culture and education accord” that would provide for UK participation in EU programmes and continued UK membership of EU cultural groups and networks.

The white paper singled out Creative Europe specifically, stating: “UK is open to exploring participation in the successor scheme, and continued involvement in Creative Europe.”

However since its publication, the EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has questioned whether the government’s white paper is workable. The bill also faces intense domestic opposition from pro-Brexit MPs.

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