More art funds needed for the north west - MP

Eric Ollerenshaw MP
Eric Ollerenshaw MP

A Lancashire MP has told Arts Council England to ‘give the north west the funding recognition we deserve.’

Lancaster and Fleetwood’s Tory MP Eric Ollerenshaw says he has campaigned strongly since being elected about the unfairness in devolution of arts council funds, and spoke about it in June this year in the House of Commons.

He says he was “highlighting particularly, the unjustified under-spend in the north, and Lancashire. I am not alone, calls for fairer distribution have been voiced since almost as soon as the council was set up in 1946, ironically to ‘decentralise.”

He added: “After numerous internal ACE reports, such as ‘The Glory of the Garden Report’ in 1984, and the Wilding Report 1989, criticisms of funding allocations were rife, and most recently, comments from the ACE current chairman Sir Peter Bazalgette, stated what ‘without question...there is an imbalance’, ‘more should be done’ to combat this, and ‘strengthen capacity outside London’.

“I hope when we read of the ACE’s next round of investment allocations due in January 2014, we will see the full force of Sir Peter’s actions and not just his empty words. I strongly call on the ACE use this as an opportunity to allocate the north west the funding recognition we deserve.”