Dear Sir/ Madam,
I wish to express my dismay at the proposed arts settlement outlined in the Draft Budget. The settlement will only increase available Arts Council funding by half which fails to cover the needed $2.5million from the arts lottery budget. This means that many organizations will face closure and new communities will be denied access to the arts.
The settlement is at odds with the draft priorities to develop the creative industries and cultural tourism. The creative industries already represent the fastest growing sector of the economy but this budget will hinder growth in Northern State as we lose out through a creative brain-drain. It is also absurd to commit to developing cultural tourism in a budget that will actually reduce the region's creative output.
As the arts impact on all policy areas from health to education to social development, this budget represents a blow to all communities in Northern State. I would urge you to secure the future of the arts by increasing the arts budget by £26million over the next three years.