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Investing in culture


How does England invest in its cultural life?


What public and private funding structures exist, and are they fit for purpose?


Beyond funding, how else do we as a society invest in culture (e.g. volunteering, campaigning, etc.)?


Peter Bazalgette Damon Buffini Deborah Bull
Sir Peter Bazalgette
Mr Damon Buffini
Ms Deborah Bull CBE

In this theme, we map out the various processes of cultural investment across England (constraints on time and resources unfortunately prevent us from widening this process to the UK as a whole). Rather than reproducing bodies of statistical data on arts funding, the Commissioners will identify:

• the availability of public and private funding sources, and their relationships across national, regional and local levels;

• which departments and other agencies are involved in the implementation of cultural policy, and the connections between them;

• who invests in the arts as consumers and how socially segmented is this investment in terms of producers and audiences;

• the alternative ways, beyond funding, that England invests in its culture (e.g. volunteering, public involvement, campaigning, philanthropy, sponsorship etc.).


  • To provide an accessible map of the policy and funding ‘geography’ of the cultural sector;
  • To identify investment possibilities and, on the other, assesses the efficiency of the processes as a whole;
  • To offer recommendations that will contribute to current debates on the optimal support for the arts and culture in a challenging economic climate.

Theme One Events:

23 January 2014: Commissioner Day, Design Council

The Commissioner day took place successfully, with high profile evidence givers including Dame Tessa Jowell and Professor Sara Selwood. For more information, click here.

4 February 2014: Provocation, British Library
Robert Peston and Jane Hill led a panel debate on the question: 'The future of the arts: are the cuts to funding the biggest challenge?'. Participants included Sir Richard Lambert, Alan Davey (ACE), Bev Skeggs (Goldsmiths). Further information can be found here. The event was filmed and videos of the evening are available here.

The British Library