Written evidence submitted by Jazz Services
Ltd (arts 91)
This submission is from Jazz Services
Ltd, the leading development agency for jazz in England. Further
information on Jazz Services Ltd and the UK jazz environment is
contained in Section 1, specific responses in section 2.
Jazz has been historically under-funded
compared to other art forms and significant cuts will consequently
have a disproportionate effect. The sector is already feeling
the effects of funding cuts from, for example, local authorities.
The jazz sector is heavily dependent
on voluntary activity
The jazz sector has a good record in
terms of funded organisations working together. Jazz Services
Ltd is also working with UK Trade and Industry and the British
Council to promote cultural exports.
Small arts organisations such as Jazz
Services Ltd do not, for the most part, have sufficient resources
to make multiple funding applications to a large number of different
businesses and/or philanthropists.
THE UK JAZZ
1.1 Jazz Services Ltd
Jazz Services provides a voice and support for
UK jazz, promoting its growth, accessibility and development in
the UK and abroad. Services include advice, advocacy, communications,
education, information, marketing, publishing, research and touring.
Jazz Services is funded by Arts Council England and with support
from the Performing Right Society for Music Foundation. Jazz Services
works closely with the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation
Group and with the voluntary jazz sector throughout the United
1.2 Jazz in the UKA Vibrant National
There is vibrancy about the British jazz scene
that has not been felt since the popularity of Courtney Pine and
the Jazz Warriors. The media has taken notice of bands such as
Mercury-nominated bands such as Polar Bear, Soweto Kinch and Kit
Downes as well as the phenomenally successful Jamie Cullum. Older
generations of British jazz musicians such as Chris Barber, Norma
Winstone and Peter King are continuing to attract interest.
The upsurge of interest in UK jazz is not limited
to Londonscenes have developed around students, graduates
and teachers in music colleges in Leeds, Manchester, London, Birmingham,
Cardiff and Newcastle. The success of jazz education programmes
ranging from youth bands to further and higher education jazz
courses has contributed to a revitalised jazz scene. Successful
British jazz showcases in USA, Canada, France and Germany have
won over audiences, promoters and journalists. UK artists are
increasingly being featured in international festivals and UK
jazz has been profiled in international magazines, newspapers,
and on radio and television.
1.3 The Landscape
The audience for people who attend jazz concerts
in England is 2.5 million as compared to 3.3 million for classical
music and 1.7 million for opera. (Arts Council Taking Part survey
The turnover of the jazz sector in 2008 was
£85 milliona slight decrease on 2005 of £86 million
due to the ongoing decline of CD sales. (The Value of Jazz in
Great Britain, Volume 2).
In 2009-10, the 12 Regularly Funded Organisations
(RFOs) for jazz received a total of £1.7 million from Arts
Council England which was 2.3% of the total funding of RFOs in
2009/10. Opera received £73.9 million; classical, contemporary
classical, early music and chamber music received £140.2
Jazz Services works closely with other jazz
development agencies around the UK and together they received
£721,247 in 2009-10 from Arts Council England.
The Arts Council of England rightly says the
arts give value and that for every pound spent an additional £2
is generated. Jazz and its voluntary sector provide incredible
value for money. When help in kind from volunteer "trustees",
staff, "helpers" and promoters is taken into account
the multiplier is substantial. The National Youth Jazz Orchestra
produces £7 for every £1 of public money invested. Wakefield
Jazz Club generates £6.69 for every £1 invested and
Scarborough Jazz Club £4.99.
The 12 RFOs encompass a number of business models:
Jazz Action operates as a sole trader; Birmingham Jazz, EM Jazz,
Jazz Services, Jazz Yorkshire, NW Jazzworks and National Youth
Jazz Orchestra are not-for-profit organisations; Band on the Wall
is a major venue in Manchester; J Night is a promoter in Yorkshire;
National Youth Jazz Collective a not-for-profit organisation funded
by Arts Council England via Youth Music; and Serious and Tomorrow's
Warriors are private companies whose work embraces both commercial
and not-for-profit activities.
The breadth of work undertaken by jazz RFOs
and its voluntary sector is impressive: information, websites,
news, advice, direct touring, touring grants, direct promoting,
schemes for promoters, jazz festivals, recording, recording schemes,
music publishing, artist management, education workshops, projects,
professional development and training, work in schools and colleges,
jazz education awards, youth orchestras, publishing, listings,
marketing and PR, advocacy, showcasing and promoting UK jazz abroad.
All organisations work or have strong links with a large number
of youth jazz orchestras that provide access routes and pathways
into jazz throughout England.
2.1 What impact will recent, and future, spending
cuts from central and local Government have on the arts and heritage
at a national and local level?
Jazz runs on a shoestring. Cuts will impact
on a sector of music that is heavily reliant on volunteers in
boardrooms and jazz clubs across the United Kingdom, not to mention
the musicians who effectively subsidise jazz with low wage expectations.
The Value of Jazz reports commissioned by Jazz
Services in 2005 and 2008 show there has been a decrease in funding
of jazz promoters. Local Authority and Arts Council support decreased
between 2005 and 2008 by 10% and 33% respectively and, at a time
when greater emphasis is being placed on commercial sponsorship,
there has been a 50% decrease in sponsorship.
With the volunteers fighting a stiff rearguard
action against the continuing exacerbatory effects of the recession;
any cuts would have a deleterious exponential effect"the
multiplier effect in reverse". It must be remembered that
the energy and time given by volunteers is discretionary.
In terms of jazz clubs run by volunteer promoters
the margins are very tight. Set out in table one is an example
of a jazz club in Yorkshire that operates on the margin. Any deficit
is defrayed by ancillary activities such as raffles or by promoters
digging into their own pockets.
Jazz clubs operating on the margin
|Number of bands booked||41
|Number of musicians||273
|Arts Council England||£5,000
2.2 What arts organisations can do to work more closely
together in order to reduce duplication of effort and to make
economies of scale.
There is an implicit assumption in the question that the
main reason for arts organisations to work together is for reasons
of cost-cutting. In our experience, a far more important reason
for working together is to achieve outcomes collaboratively which
individual organisations would be unable to achieve with their
Having said that, there may be areas, particularly in "back-office"
functions such as finance and ICT, where savings could be made
through economies of scale. For example, in the ICT world, there
is a trend towards "remote hosting" of computer resources.
If such a facility was available to arts organisations, and possibly
other charities, at cost price rather than normal commercial rates,
this could be an attractive proposition for smaller arts organisations.
It is also possible that organisations could work more collaboratively
on their marketing and public-facing side, for example on websites,
which could also have the effect of making the arts easier to
access. Where there are a number of arts organisations working
in close geographical proximity it is possible they could share
office space, which as well as reducing overheads could encourage
cross-fertilisation of ideas.
In some cases mergers may be appropriate, but this should
not be seen as a panacea. Experience from the business world suggests
that a large majority of mergers fail to meet their stated objectives
for various reasons.
Although cost savings may well be possible from all the above,
it is unlikely they will amount to the scale of savings which
we have been led to understand are being sought in the Government's
The main problem is likely to be that, in general, arts organisations
are far from homogeneous in the artistic genres they work in and
the type of work they do. There is likely to be little cross-over
between, for example, a national music development agency, an
art gallery in Manchester and a community theatre organisation
In the specific context of jazz, the organisations which
are currently funded by Arts Council England fall broadly into
the two categories of concert promoters and development agencies.
There are areas of overlap between the two categories, and we
can and do work together on a number of projects, but the objectives
and operations of concert promoters and development agencies are
different in many ways. The various jazz development agencies
also work closely together, but given their wide geographical
spread, it is difficult to see economies of scale other than those
mentioned above. There is also potential in working together with
development agencies for other forms of music (eg world music,
folk, classical music) and we are currently exploring these.
2.3 What level of public subsidy for the arts and heritage
is necessary and sustainable?
There are two main arguments for public subsidy for the arts
The first is economic, that public subsidy for the arts enables
far more artistic activity to take place than would otherwise
be possible, which in turn provides additional revenue for the
government, for example in the form of VAT receipts. In addition
to the direct taxes paid to government, there are indirect financial
benefits through the multiplier effect and the impact of the arts
on the broader economy, eg through tourism. It should be borne
in mind that for many arts organisations, public subsidy is only
a small part of their income, however if it were not provided
the organisation as a whole would not be viable.
The second is social, where the benefits cannot be fully
quantified in financial terms, but it is generally understood
that the benefits to the community are such that the activities
should be subsidised. It is difficult to express a minimum sustainable
level of subsidy in absolute terms, but our opinion is that it
would be counter-productive to reduce subsidy to the point where
either a) the reduction in arts activity has adverse economic
effects greater than the reduction in subsidy or b) parts of the
country, especially outside London, are unable to access the arts
as local activity is no longer financially viable.
2.4 Whether the current system, and structure, of funding
distribution is the right one.
We strongly support the "arms-length" principle
of having Arts Council England determine how arts funding should
be distributed to various organisations rather than DCMS. It is
undoubtedly a government responsibility to make judgements about
what public funding should be given to the arts, and the broad
structure of the arts industry in the UK, but we would not see
it as a government function to make decisions about the artistic
quality and objectives of individual organisations.
It is however important that ACE should make decisions about
the funding of individual organisations in an open and transparent
manner. This has not always been the case in the past but improvements
have been made in recent years and we would like to see these
2.5 What impact will recent changes to the distribution
of National Lottery funds have on arts and heritage organisations?
Jazz Services supports the restoration of lottery funds to
the arts heritage and sport that had been reduced from 20% each
to 16.66% in 1998. Jazz Services notes that the Government believes
that funding to the voluntary and community sector will be protected.
Jazz Services notes further that local authorities currently receive
some £100 million a year from the Big Lottery Fund. This
funding will be phased out which could impact on the funding of
jazz as organisations compete for scarce funds.
2.6 Whether the policy guidelines for National Lottery
funding need to be reviewed.
The policy guidelines need to be reviewed so that they are
explicit in that lottery funding is additional and not a top up
for Grant in Aid funding. The guidelines should reflect the growing
pressure on arts organisations to find alternative revenue streams
to replace shortfalls in public subsidy. Consideration should
be given to arts organisations who wish to develop income generating
schemes. Furthermore the guidelines should reflect the capacity
of organisations to submit applications. No matter how excellent
the schemes, small organisations rarely have human and financial
resources to undertake the major exercise which successful applications
entail. Large arts organisations are geared to make large scale
2.7 The Impact of recent changes to DCMS arm's-length bodiesin
particular the abolition of the UK Film Council and the Museums,
Libraries and Archives Council.
As a music organisation, we do not feel qualified to comment
specifically on the abolition of these two councils. However what
is important is that the "arms-length" principle is
not itself abolished, for the reasons stated above.
2.8 Whether businesses and philanthropists can play a long
term role in funding arts at a national and local level.
There is undoubtedly a role for businesses and philanthropists
in funding the arts. It is also possible that business tax reliefs
could be adjusted to encourage participation in the arts. However
many arts organisations, even those which have been successful
in attracting private sponsorship, would argue that private funding
can only be a supplement to, not a replacement for, public funding.
It could also be helpful for businesses to provide support in
kind, for example by seconding employees to work part-time in
arts organisations, or by providing positive encouragement and
sufficient time flexibility for their senior staff to become Trustees
of arts organisations, or indeed other charities.
There are however a number of drawbacks to relying on businesses
and philanthropists as a source of funding for the arts which
need to be addressed:
(a) There is a risk that businesses will be "fair-weather
friends" for the arts, liable to turn off the tap at short
notice in a recession. This has been the recent experience in
(b) Businesses are, understandably, much more likely to fund
prestigious and high profile projects, such as festivals. It is
far less easy to attract funding to lower-profile day to day activities,
which are however just as important in generating employment and
exposure for artists.
(c) The process of applying for funding and developing relationships
can be extremely time consuming. Many smaller arts organisations
are successful in managing their relationship with the Arts Council,
and possibly one or two other funders, but simply do not have
the time or resources to make multiple applications to businesses
In our own case, as an arts development agency, we have found
it difficult historically to attract funding to what is essentially
a "back-office" organisationwe don't have anything
very tangible to offer potential sponsors. However this does not
prevent us from seeking outside funding where possibilities exist.
For example, we obtain advertising revenue from our publication
"Jazz UK" and will in the near future also offer this
on our website, which is the largest jazz website in the UK. Some
of our international showcases have benefitted from media. Also
the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, for which we are now responsible,
has been successful in obtaining direct sponsorship.
2.9 Whether there need to be more Government incentives
to encourage private donations.
Government incentives to encourage private donations could
certainly be helpful. However much would depend on how such a
scheme would operate. If private, and indeed business, donations
were made to a fund administered by (for example) the Arts Council,
and individual arts organisations could apply to this fund, it
would almost certainly be workable. However if private donations
were made directly to arts organisations, the scheme would suffer
from all the risks and drawbacks set out above.