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Wednesday, 1 November, 2000, 14:44 GMT
Arts Council to cut red tape

Tracey Emin's bed: Grant applications to be less messy
Artists should be able to win grants more easily after the Arts Council of England promised to cut red tape and improve its funding systems.

Chief executive Peter Hewitt, launching the council's annual report, said he was determined to simplify the way money was distributed.

There are more than 60 schemes to distribute government and Lottery cash and it is felt the system is too complex, slow and inefficient.

The Arts Council would try to cut the number of schemes by a third over the next few months and be clearer about its aims, said Mr Hewitt.

"We want to make it easier for artists to get money," he said.

Increase

The Arts Council was delighted by the 100m funding increase recently announced by the government.

But Mr Hewitt denied that this was offset by a Lottery cash cut.

"We have achieved a very substantial increase in aid which is the long-term bedrock of funding," he said.

"Our challenge for the coming year is to ensure that we develop imaginative plans for using the extra funds to benefit the artist, arts organisations and audiences."

Theatre funding will be 12m for 2002-03 and 25m in 2003-04, while education projects will get 15m in 2002-03 and 25m in 2003-04.

Similar commitments will be made to address arts funding more generally, Mr Hewitt added.

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See also:

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Assembly's review of the arts
31 Oct 00 | UK
Joining the culture club
23 Oct 00 | Business
National Theatre's poor performance
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