A report published today (Sept 7), has set out issues with how the Government provides funding for arts on a local level.
The Fabian Society looked at funding of the arts between 2009/10 and 2018/19 and found that funding had been cut nationwide by 38.5% over that time period.
The arts are often seen as less important than other aspects of public services, such as social care, however the report makes clear that the arts can be used as a support for other aspects of the social care system.
The report uses the Artlift scheme in Gloucestershire to highlight how Arts on prescriptions schemes can give a return on investment of £2.30 for every £1 spent.
Artlift cited a 37% drop in GP consultations and a 27% decrease in hospital admissions in the 500 people that took part in Artlift over the course of three years.
These reductions represented a saving for the NHS of approximately £576 per patient.
The Fabian Society concluded the report by saying:
“That is why councils must lead the way: they are rooted in their communities, they know and understand the local cultural assets, and they are best placed to shape the sector, with sustainability and resilience at its heart. Central government must assist, by providing councils with the flexibility, freedom, and resources.”