Local government partnership launches National Alliance for Cultural Services

A partnership of organisations representing local government has launched a new National Alliance for Cultural Services.

According to the Local Government Association (LGA), councils are the biggest public funder of culture in England. However, the rising demand in adult and children’s social care, and homelessness services, alongside a 24 per cent real terms reduction in core spending power from 2010/11 to 2024/25 is squeezing all other budgets.

The National Alliance for Cultural Services brings together the principal representative organisations for local government to provide a collective voice for local government cultural services and offer a clear point of contact for consultation on these services with the experts who run them.

It also aims to inform debate on their funding and governance and support councils to deliver and shape cultural services that meet the needs of their communities.

The Alliance is seeking to inform and influence the development of national policy for publicly funded culture and is urging the government to provide a long-term, sustainable and multi-year funding settlement to local authorities ahead of the Budget, to protect continued investment in cultural provision.  

Chair of the Alliance, representing the Chief Culture and Leisure Officers Association (CLOA) Val Birchall said: “We believe in the value of culture in ensuring thriving places and communities and are concerned that action is taken now to secure a sustainable future for these services.  The new Alliance offers expert knowledge and expertise across the local government cultural sector.  Through the Alliance we are signalling our desire to work collaboratively with policy makers at a national level and offer our support to develop approaches that respond to local need and are workable on the ground.”

Cllr Liz Green, Chair of the LGA’s Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, said: “Everybody has a right to access culture within their community, and while these services are under huge pressure, the benefits of them far outweigh the cost. Cultural services help to boost local economies by driving high street footfall, support creative industries and the visitor economy. They also promote better wellbeing and support educational outcomes while bringing joy and hope to people across society. Cultural services help to make communities the sort of places that everyone wants to live and work in, however once a venue is gone, it is gone forever. Councils need a sustainable and fair funding settlement to allow them to invest in these essential community services.”


Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

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