The recent government cuts have started to bite into the arts community with the Arts Council England announcing it will lose up to 50% of its funding. The Arts Council England (ACE) provides funding to over 1000 visual arts & photography organisations across the country. While some photography galleries & organisations have had their funding increased such as The Photographys’ Gallery in London, others have lost all ACE financial support including commercial photography & art gallery – the Pavilion in Leeds.
Chair of Arts Council England Dame Liz Forgan said of the cuts: “This is about a resilient future for the arts in England. We have taken the brave path of strategic choices not salami slices which has meant some painful decisions, and it is with great regret that we have had to cease funding some good organisations.” Forgan went on to say “We have tried to go about this difficult process collaboratively, and with honesty and clarity of purpose. We have been helped enormously by having a 10-year shared vision for the arts, which has focused our minds.”
The UK is home to many photography galleries and organisations which showcase and celebrate the work of local & international commercial photographers.
With some of the bigger galleries such as London’s The Photographys’ Gallery and Liverpool’s Open Gallery benefiting from further funding, it’s the smaller or up & coming organisations that will need to look at alternative financial options to survive. However it’s not just putting a disadvantage on the arts staff & commercial photographers from the Leeds-based Pavilion, Newcastle’s Side Gallery, the Hereford Photography Festival and East London’s Four Corners Film –local communities could also suffer by having less access to these cultural initiatives.