The county received an average of £1.58 per person last year through Arts Council England grants – which gives out National Lottery money to support museums, libraries, artists and arts groups
That figure is short of the North East average of £1.66 per person and even further behind the national average of £1.74 per person.
The Project Grants fund focuses on smaller independent organisations and individuals, with grants ranging from £1,000 to £100,000.
But with figures showing some areas get much more cash than others, think tank the Fabian Society says public arts funding should be levelled up.
The arts sector in the county received £508,658 in Project Grant funding in 2019-20.
Ben Cooper, researcher at the Labour Party-affiliated Fabian Society, said the figures showed centralised public arts funding is “not working, and is holding places back”.
He added: “The sector is critical to the Government’s levelling up agenda, especially as the country seeks to rebuild post-Covid but it needs fairer National Lottery funding across England and devolution of power so local areas can determine how to repair the damage.”
ACE said many funding recipients based in London are national organisations which work and tour in other areas.
Laura Dyer, Arts Council England’s deputy chief executive for places and engagement, said it wants its investment "to reach every community across the country".
She said: "We are also working in close partnership with local authorities to support investment in culture.”