Arts Council expects £10m extra a year to 2019/20

Arts Council England has said the cash increase promised by George Osborne represents a 5 per cent real-terms cut

Arts Council England has said it understands that the increase in funds it is to receive from the government will be about £10m a year over the next four years – but added that this would represent a cut of 5 per cent in real terms.

George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said in his joint spending review and autumn statement this week that the core grant received by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport would fall by about 20 per cent, but he would "increase the cash that will go to the Arts Council, our national museums and galleries". He did not say by how much.

In a statement, Arts Council England said it understood the increase would be about £10m a year over four years from 2016/17.

Despite describing this as "an astonishing settlement", it said the increase would in fact be equivalent to a cut in real terms of 5 per cent over the four-year period.

The Arts Council has committed to handing out almost £1bn of funds between 2015 and 2018 to more than 663 organisations that are part of its "national portfolio" of funded bodies.

Its funding from government has fallen by a more than a third since 2010, standing at £447m in 2012/13.

Sir Peter Bazalgette, chair of Arts Council England, said: "This is an astonishing settlement for arts and culture. It means we can keep up our efforts to ensure everyone, everywhere in England benefits from Arts Council money. We can continue to invest in children and young people, disadvantaged communities and new talent, as well as hundreds of much-loved arts and cultural institutions."

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