Statistics portal Statista puts expenditure on cultural services in 2017/18 at GB£ 4,119 billion. However, due to the complexity of the UK arts and cultural funding system, exact figures for public cultural expenditure in the UK are not always easy to determine. The UK Government funds arts and culture mainly through the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and its Arm-Length-Bodies (ALBs), the most well-known of which are the Arts Councils as well as the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
While England has been hit consistently by funding cuts, there has been a relatively steady stream of funding for the arts in Wales. A decade of austerity has led to a shift in cultural business models. Organisations have to rely on private funding and self-generated revenue to a much greater degree than in the past, which is due to the fact that spending through both DCMS as well as the councils has decreased significantly. These days, many local authorities are under immense financial strain, which has hit many small arts organisations and community groups. In particular the councils, which are the largest providers of public funding for the arts outside of London, and which in the past often provided funding for smaller organisations, have had to cut back on cultural provision due to rising demand for other services such as homelessness support, children’s services or social care.