LIVERPOOL, UK.- Arts Council England, North West has confirmed an additional £5 million to support the city and arts organisations on Merseyside. This figure is in addition to £5 million which the Department of Culture Media and Sport earmarked in its funding settlement to the Arts Council last December, making a £10 million commitment in total.
The funding will be used to support the Culture Company's work in producing the international arts festival in 2008, and in supporting the development of the arts in the city over the coming three years.
Michael Eakin, Executive Director of Arts Council England, North West said: "On Merseyside, in addition to our funding for regularly funded organisations, which will exceed £7 million by 2007-8, we are confirming £5 million of additional funds which will enable us to support preparations for Liverpool, European Capital of Culture 2008.
"Liverpool, European Capital of Culture 2008 will celebrate the most culturally dynamic region in England. This announcement is a reflection of our strong commitment in supporting Liverpool and investing in the future of the arts on Merseyside and across the North West.
"We will be working with the Culture Company over the coming months, to determine how this money should be most effectively used to ensure that the European Capital of Culture year is a major success for Liverpool and for the UK."
Councillor Warren Bradley, Liverpool's Executive Member for Culture, said: "This £5 million is welcome news. We are trying to stage the best ever Capital of Culture and we are working flat out to secure as much support as possible from both the public and private sector to minimise the burden on council tax payers. Liverpool and Merseyside has a vibrant and flourishing arts scene. This money will go some way to ensuring our arts community can grow, develop and deliver their ideas for 2008. But support will need to grow from all sectors if we are to make the best possible contribution and create the impact we all want to make in 2008."