Arts Cuts In Osborne’s Spending Review Unveiled

Latest News: George Osborne’s statement this lunchtime was only the tip of the iceberg figure for the (DCMS) Department for Culture Media and Sport’s budget. The details of cuts to the arts and museums are expected to emerge later, when the full report is released by Jeremy Hunt’s office. We expect to uncover that although national museums will be  protected and remain independent from Government intervention, their budgeting will face real cuts of 15%. The prospect of admission charging for museums will not be allowed by Whitehall, if this 15% per cent cap is to be held. A hole in the institutional running costs remains and may lead to self imposed entry charging in the future. So where will the shortfall come from? The arts will be hit much harder in places behind the scenes. It is expected that areas such as administrative costs will need to be reduced by 41%. It is also expected that curatorial staff and expensive exhibitions will be off the menu for the foreseeable future. The entire annual arts budget for Museums is only about £450m per year, a 29% cut contributes little to stemming the tide of the National deficit, while these actions will cause untold harm to England’s cultural landscape and to the economically important cultural industries. The government will be eager to emphasise that the arts and heritage will benefit by an extra £50m each per year because of the return of the lottery to its original good causes in 2012. Arts cuts on paper look more like 30% rather than the 15% mentioned in the speech and the announcement that museums will stay free is almost a loss leader to the actual real cuts involved. It was also announced that the New extensions to the Tate Modern and British Museums will go ahead as planned. The 29% cut to ACE  (Arts Council England) will be passed on to about 850 theaters and galleries. The 29.6% cut will see ACE’s current government grant of £449m drop to £349m by 2014.This withdrawal is going to create a gaping hole in funding leaving ACE on its own to be the executioner. The smaller regional centres will likely be the first to go, absorbing the biggest impact of the cuts, to be phased in over the next 4 years. it will be interesting to note how quickly the cuts take to come into effect. The Arts Council a body which distributes money to hundreds of arts venues, theatre groups and galleries  said the cut would have “a significant impact on the cultural life of the country”.   More to follow….

This was posted on the DCMS website this afternoon.

In the current economic climate, this is a good settlement for DCMS’s sectors,” said Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture Olympics, Media and Sport.

“We will deliver a safe and successful Olympics in 2012 when the eyes of the whole world will be upon us. And by cutting bureaucracy and waste and prioritising the services valued by the public we will be able to protect our sporting and cultural core for the long term.”

The 25 per cent reduction overall reflects a 24 per cent reduction in resource spending and 32 per cent reduction in our capital budget.The spending reductions will run over the course of the spending review period, which covers the four years from 2011/12 to 2014/15.

Our priorities

We are:

    * ensuring the long sustainability of our key sporting and cultural assets by limiting cuts to museums, frontline arts organisation and whole sport plans to 15 per cent
    * focusinging resources on the frontline services that the public value cutting back on administration and waste
    * contributing to economic growth by securing investment of £530 million to boost the UK’s broadband infrastructure
    * retaining free entry for everyone to our national museums and galleries

We have also changed the distribution of Lottery good cause money, boosting income by £150 million for arts, sport and heritage after 2012.

Significant savings to other areas of spend have also been announced today, including overall budget reductions to Sport England (33 per cent), UK Sport (28 per cent), English Heritage (32 per cent), Visit Britain (34 per cent) and the Arts Council England has been cut by 29.6%. This means the money for ACE,we currently have to spend,£450m, will go down to £350m in real terms in 2014. Our cut in the first year (11/12) is around 14%. The full numbers are as follows:

* 2011/12 – £387.7m
* 2012/13 – £359.2m
* 2013/14 – £351.6m
* 2014/15 – £349.4m

These cuts will inevitably have a significant impact on the cultural life of the country. The Secretary of State has indicated in his settlement letter that he would like to keep the overall effect on the budget to regularly funded organisations to 15% over four years.”

We are also reforming or abolishing 19 of our 55 public bodies.

Make your own mind up – ArtLyst



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