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Cuts see British Pavilion turn to corporate sponsorship

The British Council has been forced to seek private sponsorship for the British Pavilion in Venice following budget cuts

The move is part of drive to increase income from commercial activity and partnerships following a 25 per cent reduction to British Council’s budget during the period of this government.

However British Council architecture director and 2012 pavilion co-curator Vicky Richardson played down reports the organisation’s contribution to the project’s £110,000 production budget could be halved by 2014, describing the claims as ‘misinformation’ and insisted the pavilion’s creativity would not be infringed by private backers.

‘Many of the pavilions have corporate sponsorship,’ she said.

‘Corporate sponsors are very sophisticated and they understand their support of projects is not contingent on them having an impact on [content].

‘The integrity of the project is absolutely secure, there is no way we would allow it to be shaped by a sponsor’.

‘We will be working with a fundraising consultant and we will be talking to organisations and companies that are appropriate to what we do.’

Richardson added a corporate backer was already being sought to fund exhibiting this year’s pavilion in London.  

The British Council said it was too early to confirm what percentage of the high-profile exhibition’s costs could come from the private sector in future years..

A spokesperson said: ‘We remain firmly committed to commissioning the British Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale. It’s too early to confirm budget for 2014.’

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