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Samuel West launches '50p for culture' campaign

The campaign aims to highlight local authority spending on the arts

Samuel West chairs the NCA

The National Campaign for the Arts (NCA) has launched a new campaign to increase local authority investment in the arts.

The 50p for Culture campaign is in response to a recent poll that found 63% of people believe local authorities should invest at least 50p per person per week in the arts, museums and heritage.

Actor and director Samuel West, chair of the NCA, said: "The research we have commissioned shows that far from being a minority concern this is something their constituents really care about: most people - almost two thirds - want local authority culture funding to triple."

The Ipsos MORI poll was conducted in December and surveyed 970 people throughout the UK. In response to the question of how much local authorities should invest in the arts and related sectors, the responses were:

• Nothing 12%
• Less than 50p 13%
• 50p - £1 32%
• Over £1 but less than £5 22%
• £5 or more 9%
• Don't know 12%

"This survey shows that nearly 90% of those responding want some local authority support of the arts," added West. "As we approach local elections on 22 May, it's good to remind ourselves that local authorities have a long and proud history of bringing culture to their communities and have played a major part in making the UK a world leader in the creative industries."

The NCA is encouraging people in England to visit www.50pforculture.org and enter their postcode to find out the level of investment in their area; depending on whether that level is low, average or high they can then send an "appropriate message" to their local representatives.

The website will also monitor planned changes in investment by every local authority and highlight those who are cutting culture disproportionately.

The Ipsos MORI research was co-commissioned by the NCA, UK Theatre Association, Equity, The Stage and the Museums Association.