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Olivia Stock
31 July 2023, 15:04

€947 million culture fund announced to support new clubs and cultural spaces in Berlin

Berlin’s new culture budget is more than double that for the entirety of England in 2024

Photo of dancers and colourful lights inside a nightclub

Berlin’s Senator for Culture has announced a new €947 million (£813 million) culture fund for 2024, Euronews reports.

The fund, which is up €13 million from this year’s budget, will go toward adding 500 cultural spaces including night clubs, venues, museums, and theatres to Berlin’s existing 2,000-strong roster, with the intention of doubling the amount of state-owned cultural space by 2030.

The funding increase comes as part of an ongoing commitment by Joe Chialo, the State Minister for Culture and Social Cohesion, to rejuvenate youth interest in culture after the pandemic. Chialo, who was previously the frontman of a heavy metal band, took charge of Berlin’s culture sector in 2023 and has pledged to raise the budget to €1 billion for 2025 “in order to continue to ensure excellence in the future.”

According to Euronews, projects that will benefit from the increased funding include the renovation of the Komische Oper, a historic German opera house, as well as funds for new cultural venues, exhibition halls, drama schools, and theatres.

The announcement has sparked comparisons between the UK and Germany’s culture fund, with the budget for Berlin alone now standing at more than double that of the culture fund for the entirety of England in 2024.

Reacting to the news of Berlin’s arts budget increase on Twitter, editor of Art Professional and research fellow at Queen Mary University of London, Ruth Hogarth, noted that even with “lottery and local authority funding on top”, the UK’s culture fund “doesn’t add up to anything like the per capita spend.”

The Berlin senate also recently implemented the ‘Jungendkulkarte’, a new cultural programme where young Berliners can receive €50 to cover entrance fees for participating nightclubs, as well as a range of other cultural activities.