Arts Council England budget to be cut by 5 per cent

Peter Bazalgette, chair of the council, says the cut represents the 'best-case scenario' given the general economic circumstances

Peter Bazalgette
Peter Bazalgette

Arts Council England will be hit by a 5 per cent cut to its grant-in-aid budget from the government, which ACE today described as the "best-case scenario" under the circumstances.

ACE said its grant-in-aid funding would be £342m in the financial year 2014/15 and that the 5 per cent cut would be implemented the following year.

But it said it would not know exactly how the 5 per cent would be cut until the Department for Culture Media and Sport told it how much money it would receive in its resource grant-in-aid and in its capital grant-in-aid budgets.

ACE said its next step was to decide how to develop an investment strategy that would benefit the arts sector as well as the general public and that it would announce its plans in the coming weeks.

But it expressed concern at the level of cuts to local authority budgets because they spend more in total than it does on arts and culture.

It said that local authorities in England spent £790m on arts and culture in 2011/12, whereas it spent £389m from its grant-in-aid budget and a further £212m from its lottery budget during the same period.

"A cut of 5 per cent is a best-case scenario in what are difficult and testing economic times for everyone," said Peter Bazalgette, chair of Arts Council England.

"The DCMS and the culture sector have all done a good job in making the case for continued government investment in the arts and culture and in highlighting the vital contribution that they are able to make to our quality of life and economy as a result. It’s encouraging to see that the Treasury and the Chancellor have taken note."

- Read more on the spending review and how it will affect the sector

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