‘Give county fair share of art cash’

Eric Ollerenshaw MP
Eric Ollerenshaw MP
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Arts funding should be shared out more fairly across the country, particularly in Lancashire, according to Lancaster’s MP.

During Parliamentary Culture Questions last week, Eric Ollerenshaw, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, repeated his call to the Arts Minister for a fairer share of Arts Council funding for Lancashire.

Currently London receives around £69 per head in subsidy from the Arts Council, compared to just £4.50 for those areas outside London. In Lancashire it is even less, just over a pound per head of population.

Having previously called for a better deal for the North West as a whole, today Eric urged the Minister to ensure that Arts Council England not just provide more funding for the North West but also ensure that they look beyond Manchester.

He said: “There is growing recognition that Arts Council England needs to allocate its resources more fairly, giving places outside London more of a boost to the arts in their own areas.

“Even the London Evening Standard has published articles to that effect. I welcome this change of emphasis and will keep up pressure on the Arts Council to make that we do in fact now see a genuine shift of resources away from London.

“I also want to make sure that if the North West as a whole gets more money, the extra money is fairly allocated within the region. Too often people in London think the North West starts and ends with Manchester.

“I want to see our local artists, and facilities like the Dukes Playhouse, receive their fair share of any funds that are available.”