Concentration of arts sponsorship in London causes other UK regions to lose out

Unevenness comes to light, as survey finds that almost 50% of the UK total was directed towards London


Business investment in arts sponsorship continues to rise, with museums and galleries proving the most attractive target for corporate beneficence, particularly if the organisations are situated in London.

The results of the annual survey conducted by the Arts & Business group, reveal business investment in arts sponsorship during 1998/99 at a record high of £141 million, up 23% on the previous year. However, the results also show that the lion’s share of the wealth is concentrated in the hands of the few, with a mere 3% of the UK arts organisations receiving arts sponsorship claiming more than half of the total invested.

The survey found that during the 1998/99 period, London attracted almost 50% (£64.4 million) of the UK total, with the remainder divided between Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the regions. The north attracted £1.6 million and Northern Ireland £1 million, with the West Midlands picking up £7 million and Scotland £11.8 million. London accounted for £64.4 million of the total invested.

Twenty-six organisations each generate more than £1 million in business investment. Investment in capital projects rose from £19.4 million to £35.2 million, boosted by major building projects such as the Royal Opera House and the Tate Gallery, which are among London’s sixteen “sponsorship millionaires.” Some of the wealthier institutions can afford to employ whole departments devoted to raising corporate sponsorship, with the Tate Gallery boasting no fewer than 34 full-time fundraisers.

Artform Total Business Category Investment

  • Arts Centres: £1,634,232
  • Community Arts: £1,651,479
  • Crafts: £127,139
  • Dance: £3,011.503
  • Drama/Theatre: £17,176,612
  • Festivals: £9,751,654
  • Film/Video: £5,399,042
  • Heritage: £6,723,467
  • Literature/Poetry: £793,211
  • Museums & Galleries: £31,790,492
  • Music: £12,335,848
  • Opera: £13,035,696
  • Photography: £1,851,528
  • Services: £2,041,689
  • Visual Arts: £7,367,971
  • Other (Inc. Local Authorities): £16,068,578
  • Total: £130,760,000

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper under the headline "UK regions losing out in sponsorship"