march 2014
32 p.

In 2010, local and regional expenditure (regions, départements, municipalities with populations over 10,000 and their local authority associations, including French overseas territories) rose to €7.6bn, i.e. €118 per head of population. The municipalities and their associations of local authorities are responsible for three quarters (73%) of this expenditure (4.6bn and €1bn respectively), départements 18% (i.e. €1.4 billion) and the regions 9% (€0.7 billion). This expenditure represents on average a higher proportion of the total expenditure of the municipalities and their associations of local authorities (8% and 7%) than that for the regions (2.7%) and départements (2.1%).

Compared with 2006 (the date the last survey was published), territorial cultural expenditure has increased by almost 10%, i.e. an annual increase of 2.3% in mainland France. More or less keeping pace with inflation (+1.4% per annum), the volume of the municipalities’cultural expenditure has remained fairly static, whereas the number of associations of local authorities active in the cultural sphere has increased and their cultural expenditure has increased by 6% per annum. Cultural expenditure for the départements and the regions has continued slightly above inflation for the départements (+1.8% per annum) and more significantly so for the regions (+ 4.5% per annum) which is mostly down to strong growth at the start of the period. The drive to promote culture within départements and regions then diminished due to a strong increase in total expenditure, linked to transfers of competency.

Support for artistic expression and cultural activities accounts for around 60% of the expenditure of the municipalities and their associations of local authorities (€4.32bn), largely accounted for by running costs (85%). Départements and regions have increasingly invested in cultural heritage, which represented 59% of the départements’cultural expenditure and 23% of regional expenditure in 2010.

More involved in the often direct management of local cultural services and facilities (libraries, conservatoires and art schools, museums, etc.), municipalities and their local authority associations saw over half of their cultural running costs go on wages, to the tune of almost €2.5bn. However it is cultural subsidies for running costs which have seen the greatest increase (+ 5% per annum for mainland municipalities between 2006 and 2010), which particularly benefited theatres and the visual arts.
Conversely, subsidies represent over 80% of regional cultural expenditure. They are supporting the running costs of beneficiaries in the private sector, (mostly non-profit organisations), as well as cultural promotion in the municipalities and their local authority associations.