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Last Updated:  Friday, 28 February, 2003, 12:30 GMT
Business 'still backing arts'
Imperial War Museum
The Imperial War Museum comes out top in investment
British business is continuing to back the arts despite a difficult economic climate, according to a report.

Investment during the last financial year dropped slightly to 111m, said the Arts & Business organisation, which develops partnerships between the two groups.

It said the figures for 2001/02 had shown a 3% decline in funding but had "proved resilient".

Top five arts investments
1. Imperial War Museum
2. Royal Opera House
3. Tate galleries
4. British Council
5. Royal Academy of Arts
But the organisation warned that the arts faced a wealth of competition for investment from companies.

"The danger is that the arts will be perpetually sidelined by the huge number of conflicting demands on the corporate purse," said chief executive Colin Tweedy.

"We must continue to prove how business investment in the arts can be good for business, good for the arts and good for the wider community."

Despite the small drop in overall funding, the report reveals that an extra 5.5m was invested in large-scale projects during the financial year.

The top three beneficiaries were the Imperial War Museum, the National Maritime Museum Cornwall and the Natural History Museum.

The Royal Opera House, the London Tate galleries and Glyndebourne received most of the extra 3.6m raised nationwide through a rise in corporate membership.

Corporate donations saw an increase of 55%.

The top three recipients were the North Music Trust in Gateshead, Foundation and Friends of Kew Gardens and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

However, there were mixed results, both regionally and by sector.

Investment in London, which still accounts for over half of the total business investment, saw a 5% increase at 53m.

Twelve out of the 18 organisations receiving business investment of 1m or more are based in London.

However, significant regional increases in investment were reported in the South West (142%), East of England (98%), Northern Ireland (63%), and the North West (56%).

Crafts, photography and film/video reported increased levels of investment, while drama/theatre, visual arts and music reported an overall drop.

Arts council's funding boost
14 Feb 03 |  Arts
2002's art merry-go-round
30 Dec 02 |  Arts

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