Try this for size: the average annual spend of a BBC orchestra is £6.1 million, compared to £9.7 million for independent orchestras funded by the Arts Council.
Why so low? Here’s what John Myerscough writes in his report:
The principal reason for the lower cost of the BBC orchestras is their lesser investment in public concert-giving and lighter call on their
administration, with lesser call on marketing and concert-planning and no need for fundraising. The PG administration staffs average 17 FTEs (full-time employees, we think), which compares to 31 FTEs in the independents. The teams are notably lean and undertake some sharing of services amongst themselves. After taking the differences into account, they appear to represent good value.
Basically, the BBC orchs spend less on admin – and pay their chief execs far less than those in the public-funded sector.
The total annual costs of BBC orchestras and performing groups is £32.3 million. Individual budgets range from £5.0 million for the BBC Concert Orchestra to £8.1 million of BBC Symphony Orchestra.