Spending cuts – the end of audience development as we know it

Spending cuts – the end of audience development as we know it

By Heather Maitland


As the English audience development agencies lost their regular Arts Council England funding, Local Authority organisations said they must focus on increasing earned income to make up for lost subsidy and rural touring all but disappeared, Heather Maitland asked the AMA membership for their thoughts. Were these just extreme examples or would the spending cuts mean less access to the arts?

Some of you think, for example, that the changes will mean audience development will become more important: ‘We are striving as much as possible to protect our marketing budget because the need for audience development will increase, not decrease.’ But others are worried that it will be sidelined: ‘[The cuts] will legitimise the outdated notions of many arts organisations who think that marketing/audience development is a luxury, an unnecessary expenditure line that could be spent on “product.” (Steven Hadley, Audiences Northern Ireland).

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Audience development Funding Subsidy
Resource type: Research | Published: 2013