In February 2016 a report was published on a survey of income generation in the cultural sector in the United Kingdom It shows the remarkable optimism and resilience of cultural organisations despite several years of cuts in public funding. They have found many different ways of broadening their engagement with their communities and have become expert in forming new partnerships. In general, they are doing a much wider variety of activities, in particular in the area of education, and are actually expecting income to increase in the next year, despite subsidy cuts. At the same time the BBC reported on a number of new arts theatres opening in London, with no public subsidy, and the most comprehensive survey of UK theatres ever published showed that in 2014 newly written stage plays (I.e. not musicals) now account for the majority of shows in UK theatres – all this despite subsidy cuts.

There is an understandable fear that subsidy cuts will lead to a reduction in activities and to a ‘safety-first’ attitude to artistic programmes. All the evidence from the UK leads to exactly the opposite conclusion – looking for new sources of funds is associated with growing budgets, innovative social programmes and artistic creativity.