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“If all you had was academic ability; you wouldn’t have been able to get out of bed this morning. In fact, there wouldn’t have been a bed to get out of. No one could have made one. You could have written about the possibility of one, but not have constructed it.”

Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative

At just over 3 months on, and with the dust still settling, we wanted to share our thoughts as one of the (many) industries that will suffer a massive loss on leaving the EU.

There was an abundance of public figures from the creative industries who wanted to remain, largely because the sector is already in a continuous battle over its ‘worth’, and leaving the EU doesn’t make that any easier. Even with a £10m an hour contribution to the UK economy, an urgency to support this growth doesn’t appear to exist.

In an article from the New Statesman, the director of Art Fund explains that he is “”deeply concerned with the impact leaving the EU will have on culture in the UK and on museums and galleries”, an impact that will be felt because of the stripping away of funding that was once provided by the EU. Creative Europe, the European Union’s programme to support the cultural, creative and audiovisual sectors in the EU, has pledged to invest between the years 2014-2020 €1.46bn into the creative industries. During its first two years, it has supported 230 UK cultural organisations and audiovisual companies as well as the cinema distribution of 84 UK films in other European countries with grants of €40m.”

Since that pledge, Creative Europe have released a further statement declaring that support may be harder to come by from the end of 2018, so it’s very apparent that the clock is now ticking (if it wasn’t already).

The article continues to say;

“Though some from the Leave campaign insist that by departing from the EU we are saving millions that is sent to Brussels each week, it is unlikely – given the nature of a government that is inclined to impose incessant cuts and slash the budget of arts sectors throughout the country – that this money will be poured into the creative industries. According to the Arts Council, between 2010 and 2015, figures show that total spending by local government in England on arts and culture development and support has been reduced by 16.6 per cent, tending to hit regions outside London the hardest. For example, in 2012, Newcastle upon Tyne’s local council was threatening to reduce its culture budget by 100 per cent. Eventually, its culture budget was cut by 50 per cent, forcing creative institutes such as the city’s Live Theatre to shrink its budget by 70 per cent.

What are the chances that EU funds will make it into the arts sector budgets up North and elsewhere? Unlikely.”

So what do we do about it?

To echo the words of Sir Ken Robinson above; the industry is obviously essential.

This blog arguably wouldn’t be coming at you without the designer behind the smartphone/computer/tablet/website/social media channel or the coder behind the software to read it, not to mention the existence of the table at which you sit, the train you ride or office at which you read this.

We are not a publicly funded company, but do rely on investment in art creation and its education to boot, so it’s not something we can take for granted. Part of our move forward includes thinking more sustainably in such unstable and unpredictable times, and developing a fluid business model that can adjust with the ebb and flow of such a changeable economy.

With this in mind, it would be great to receive your feedback on how Brexit will affect/has affected you, your business or art practice. Does Brexit worry you? Have you already seen an effect? Are you worried about any local business within the creative sector post Brexit?

We would love to hear your thoughts, and will be using this feedback to help us form strategies to provide facilities/channels that could potentially help support our ever growing community.

Please share your comments on our thread on Facebook, tweet us, or email us if you’d prefer a more confidential approach. Your opinion is really valuable to this ongoing debate.

  • Tim Nathan

    The arts and art funding has always been a tricky subject, Brexit or no Brexit.

    Fundamentally arts funding is the public sector competing with the private sector.

    We all know that every thing is designed and that arts education is a major contribution to our economy and cultural identity.

    I don’t think art education should be driven by art fashion or public sector funding.

    You say,

    “At just over 3 months on, and with the dust still settling, we wanted to share our thoughts as one of the (many) industries that will suffer a massive loss on leaving the EU.”

    I agree some will lose out however I don’t see this as a statement of general fact and it remains to be seen weather or not leaving Brussels is good or bad.

    It is a fact that this is a great opportunity for those artists that deal internationally. Artist friends of mine who are dealing in dollars or the euro are in fact 20% better off as i direct result of the week pound on sales they have made. Would there be an opportunity here?

    I admit I make a very simplistic point but isn’t this an opportunity for private sector arts?

    Tim Nathan