Five arts charities have been selected to take part in an innovative fundraising programme.

The Big Arts Give has been launched by Arts & Business, an organisation formed to link commerce with culture, to try and offset forthcoming swingeing cuts in public spending.

Arts Council England (ACE) has been told by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport that its budget could be cut by up to 30% over the next four years.

Organisations that it funds are bracing themselves for their grants to be cut as a result.

The Big Arts Give has been established in partnership with The Reed Foundation, set up by multi-millionaire and philanthropist Alec Reed, with an initial £500,000, in an attempt to stimulate donations from the public.

Brighton-based New Writing South, Komedia Productions and Same Sky as well as Glyndebourne Productions and Pallant House Gallery in Chichester have successfully applied to take part.

Each organisation had to secure a pledge for a donation of £3,000 to £50,000, which would only be payable once this amount was matched by public donations raised in an online appeal.

Matched Any amount raised over this will be matched by The Big Arts Give up to the initial amount pledged, meaning the total gained could potentially be four times the original amount.

New Writing South has given itself a target of raising £3,000, which will go towards its Writing in Schools programme.

The group’s Chris Taylor said: “The Big Arts Give is certainly a great opportunity and we cannot afford not to try and take advantage of it.

“We are lucky in that we have 300 members who we will be leaning on but we will also try to raise funds in other ways.”

For more information about the scheme, visit