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Arts and Culture Briefing - Summer 2021

4th June 2021

Welcome to the Summer 2021 edition of our briefing for arts and culture organisations.

The past year has been incredibly challenging for Arts and Culture organisations. You have had to adapt rapidly in order to continue to offer public programming, as well as to safeguard your assets and protect your staff, volunteers, and beneficiaries. Many arts organisations have restructured, suffering redundancies and reducing or temporarily stopping activities. Support for the sector has been strong, with individuals, trusts, and foundations stepping in to provide welcome financial assistance, and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Arts Council England (ACE) responding positively, providing emergency funding through various schemes such as the Culture Recovery Fund.

Over the next few years, Arts and Culture charities will enter a period of rebuilding, aiming to increase their activities and maintain or strengthen reserves. I know it is a concern across the industry that the generous support from DCMS, ACE, and trusts and foundations is likely to be time-limited, and that financial pressures are likely to lie ahead. With organisations needing to guard themselves against the risks of a challenging economic environment and below average visitor numbers in forthcoming years, it is particularly important for organisations to diversify income sources to support their core costs. 

Despite the challenges, there are also encouraging signs: household savings are at a 60-year high, which suggests that there is a strong market to capitalise on now that social restrictions are being lifted, provided consumer confidence can be rebuilt. 

The majority of Arts and Culture organisations have March financial year ends and so many of you are in the process of putting together a set of financial statements that encompasses an unprecedented year. In light of this, we have focused this briefing on financial reporting matters that may impact you during this time. 

For more information, please contact any of the authors, or Jane Askew, Director.

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