Britain’s creative industries are missing out on more £160m in EU funding because of Brexit, new analysis shared with The Independent suggests.
It follows the Conservative government’s decision to pull the UK out of the EU’s Creative Europe project – which helps fund the continent’s arts and culture sector – during the Brexit negotiations.
Brussels recently increased the budget of its flagship cultural programme by 66 per cent to £2.1bn for the period running up until 2027.
The Best for Britain campaign group estimated that without Brexit, the UK’s creative sectors would have received an extra £163m from the project – based on the percentage of total funds they received last cycle.
Arts chiefs said the shortfall was compounded by post-Brexit visa and supply chain issues which have hampered musicians, artists, fashion designers and filmmakers since the UK left the bloc.
Deborah Annetts, chief executive of the Independent Society of Musicians, said the burden of all new requirements were still causing “great harm to one of our flagship industries”.
The music industry chief added: “At a time when we desperately need growth in the UK economy the government urgently needs to replace this lost EU funding and root out the mountains of red tape which Brexit has imposed on the creative industries.”
The Independent previously revealed that Boris Johnson’s government rejected an offer of visa-free tours by musicians to EU countries, sparking outrage from the industry dealing with the costly blow of permits.
The Johnson government also reject an offer to remain part of the Creative Europe scheme during the Brexit talks, despite the fact non-EU members like Norway and Serbia taking part.
Despite promises to match lost EU funding, Best for Britain said the only successor scheme provided by the UK government, the Global Screen Fund, provided just £7m in its first year.
The loss of millions in arts funding has been felt acutely in devolved nations. In Scotland, Centre for the Moving Image (CMI) – which received around £350,000 and operated art cinemas and film festivals – went into administration last year.
And the Nerve Centre, a creative hub in Northern Ireland, has said that the loss of around £130,000 from Creative Europe has damaged their ability to take risks.
John Peto, lead producer at the Nerve Centre, said the loss of EU funding “does limit our opportunities to learn from others, to innovate and experiment, and to develop the kind of connections that lie at the heart of success in the creative economy”.
The latest figures come as the UK Trade and Busines Commission meets on Thursday to discuss the impact of Brexit and new trade deals on the UK’s culture and arts industries.
The UK already lags behind other European countries in arts funding. The government’s culture and the arts spending amounting to £43.35 per person last year, according to analysis by Best for Britain, campaign.
The group said France spends £53.24 per capita annually on arts and culture, while in Denmark the total is £213.31 per head.
The Independent has contacted the government for comment.