The UK Government has now made the decision to end our country's relationship with the Creative Europe Programme, something which has awarded nearly £78.6 million to UK-based cultural organisations from 2014 to 2018, and has contributed greatly to employment, learning and development in the British cultural sector. Below is an open letter (orchestrated by Artsadmin) from over 700 artists and organisations across the UK to the Secretary of State, Rt Hon Oliver Dowden, protesting the damage and loss that this withdrawal will cause to our country and culture. International collaboration has always been fundamental to D6, and we will continue to work with our friends and neighbours abroad despite this decision.
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9 March 2020
Dear Secretary of State, Rt Hon Oliver Dowden,
It is with deep dismay, frustration and alarm that we note the UK Government’s decision not to renew and continue its relationship with the Creative Europe programme at the end of 2020. By ending our participation, the UK Government is erecting barriers to continued cultural exchange. Moreover, this decision makes no financial sense. It is well established that Creative Europe grants have delivered a net benefit back to the U.K. creative economy on both soft and hard measures (worth €74 million since 2014, benefitting 334 organisations), leveraging additional funding, helping to create employment. UK organisations in culture projects have more than doubled their Creative Europe grants from private sector sources, philanthropy and the public sector, generating over €20 million in match-funding while MEDIA beneficiaries in the UK have leveraged match-funding worth nearly €120m. The multilateral approach to transnational cooperation afforded by Creative Europe is irreplaceable.
It’s not just about the money. Creative Europe amplifies the UK arts and creative industries’ domestic market opportunity to one that is pan European from the outset. Ours is a sector that is growing fast in reaching audiences at home and internationally, with projects funded with UK partners set to reach 61 million audience members – with 7 million of those based in the UK. The Creative Europe Desk UK Impacts Report details many achievements that go beyond-the-financial, including how Creative Europe funding has enabled organisations to take risks, explore new business models and be innovative, for example in the exploration of new digital technologies.
The kind of cultural exchange, collaboration and innovation that Creative Europe facilitates can only be achieved through its unique international framework. For organisations who have participated in Creative Europe-funded networks, these projects give us essential and long-term funding, which in turn enables us to leverage further support, as well as a rich network of collaborators, touring opportunities and knowledge exchanges that enable us both to teach and learn.
This decision threatens an impoverished future for British creativity and sends the message that the UK is closing itself off to our nearest neighbours.
We implore the government to reconsider this decision and renew its commitment to Creative Europe for the benefit of our artists, audiences, and our creative economy.
Róise Goan (Artistic Director), Deborah Chadbourn (Executive Director) and all the team at Artsadmin
and the following signatories: