London Mayor Boris Johnson has warned against cutting the capital’s arts funding after a group of MPs asked Arts Council England to shift some spending from London to the regions.
A new House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport select committee report said there was a “clear funding imbalance”.
The Arts Council should “restore some balance” across the country, it added.
But Mr Johnson said cutting funding to London would be “an act of sabotage for one of our country’s greatest assets”.
Arts Council England distributes more than £600m of taxpayers’ and Lottery money to galleries, theatres and other cultural organisations per year.
Last year, a separate report said arts funding from central government amounted to £69 per head in London and £4.60 elsewhere in England.
“London has long received a disproportionate share of arts funding, something which even the Arts Council acknowledges,” the select committee said.
“To a limited extent this reflects London’s position as the capital city and a world cultural centre.
“However, there remains a clear funding imbalance in favour of London at the expense of taxpayers and lottery players in other parts of the country.
“The Arts Council is well-placed to restore some balance. It must do so with greater urgency if it is to realise its declared ambition to engineer the provision of great art and culture for everyone.”
But Mr Johnson responded by saying the committee’s report was based on “spurious calculations and a partial consideration of how the arts are funded”.
“The report represents a lost opportunity, reigniting the overly simplistic London vs the Regions debate around arts funding,” he said.
“London is one of the …read more
Source:: BBC Entertainment