All things financial – how ARC is funded and how we spend our money
Earlier in the year, I blogged about how we must try harder to be fairer to artists, echoing the points made in Gavin Barlow of the Albany’s blog and signing up to his suggested five commitments. We have continued to talk about these issues and I wanted to publish an explanation of how ARC’s finances work to accompany the Albany’s.
Figures can always be presented in different ways but I’ve kept it simple, so everyone can see beyond the published accounts and understand where our money comes from and how we spend it. The figures below are based on our budget for 2018/19.
What the figures show is that for every £1 we receive as a National Portfolio Organisation from Arts Council England, we raise a further £6. Likewise, for every £1 of our local authority grant from Stockton Borough Council, we raise a further £11.57.
Overall, £466k is paid directly to artists, either for performing or leading creative activity programmes. We also offer more than £70k worth of free space and £26k worth of free accommodation to artists per year – so artists receive a total of £562k cash and in kind support, around 25% of our total income.
Our total projected income for the year is £2,263,000.
We get core funding from:
• Arts Council England – £306k a year, confirmed till 2022 as a National Portfolio Organisation, this accounts for 14% of our total income
• Stockton Borough Council – core funding of £180k a year (8% of total income)
We try and keep ticket prices as accessible as possible, using dynamic pricing on our music and comedy events (buy early and get cheaper tickets) and Pay What You Decide pricing on our theatre and dance programme. Overall, we expect the box office to generate £451k (20%).
We expect to generate £357k (16%) additional income from fundraising during the year, and most of this will be spent on specific creative projects. £45k of this comes from Esmee Fairbairn Foundation who currently support our core costs; £30k from Garfield Weston Foundation who are supporting our young people’s programme this year; and £52.5k from Arts Council England’s Catalyst scheme to support the development of our fundraising capacity. We expect to earn another £229.5k by applying for grants, or getting donations, such as through our A Theatre Trip for Every Child Campaign.
We run our own catering company, No 60, which we hope will generate £312k income (14% of the total) and cost £274k to run, making an overall contribution to ARC of £38k.
All the spaces at ARC are available for hire by local community groups, which we expect to generate £66k from this year (3% of income). Other services, such as ticket agency and consultancy work make up a further £25k per year (1%).
There are two projects which ARC manages on behalf of our networks – REACH, a strategic touring project that supports new theatre work to be presented at six venues across the North East; and Future Arts Centres, who are currently in receipt of Arts Council Ambition for Excellence funding. We also manage project budgets on behalf of artists, which accounts for a further £175k per year. In total, these projects will generate £389k during the year (17% of income) which will be spent directly on delivering the projects. We also manage project budgets on behalf of artists, which accounts for a further £175k per year (8%).
How we spend it
We have a break even budget projected for the year. Our direct costs for the artistic programme are £521k a year (including marketing spend), which is 23% of the total.
The team directly delivering that programme includes 14 staff (full time equivalent) who make up the programming, production/technical and marketing teams – they cost a total of £277k (12% of the total). That makes a total of £798k spent directly on the artistic programme (35%).
In terms of other staff, a total of £277.5k (12% of the total) is spent on:
• The team made up of my role (CEO/Artistic Director), Operations Director (& Deputy CEO) administration, fundraising and finance £162.5k
• The Customer Services team including box office, front of house staff and housekeepers costing £115k
Our building costs, which include utilities, are projected to be £166k this year (7%) – a significant reduction on comparable costs four years ago (£198k) thanks to energy saving and other cost reduction schemes. Our total administration and finance costs are £183k (8%), including £45k of irrecoverable VAT and £25k depreciation.
How do these figures compare?
We think it is really useful to publish these figures publicly, and hope other venues will follow suit so we can continue to explore how we can best invest our funding to support artists and audiences across the country.