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U.K.-Based Companies Slashed Arts Spending by 7% in 2010-11

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Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- U.K.-based companies slashed arts spending by 7 percent in 2010-11, the fourth consecutive annual decline, a U.K. charity said today.

Business investment dropped to 134.2 million pounds ($212.4 million) in the year ended March 31, 2011, according to Arts & Business, an organization that links cultural institutions with donors. That’s lower than the total for 2004-5, the charity said in an e-mailed news release.

“These figures reveal that there remains an acute need to drive increased private investment into the arts,” said Jonathan Moulds, president of Bank of America Corp.’s European unit, who chairs the Arts & Business Leadership Campaign. “The arts are not an optional extra.”

The Arts & Business annual survey showed that a total of 686 million pounds was given by companies, individuals, and trusts and foundations to the arts in 2010-11, an increase of 4 percent in real terms from the previous year.

Donations by individuals rose 6 percent, and contributions from trusts and foundations increased 10 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Farah Nayeri in London at farahn@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.