Arts organisations, museums and libraries in England need to brace themselves for further public funding cuts of £11.6m after the government wrote to Arts Council England outlining how last week’s Autumn Statement will effect it.
ACE’s chief executive Alan Davey said he had been told that cuts to the DCMS budget would be passed on, equating to a 1% cut in 2013/14 of £3.9m and a 2% cut of £7.7m in 2014/15.
He added: “The government’s intention seems to have been that Whitehall departments absorb any cuts themselves from efficiencies but since the DCMS has already given itself a 50 per cent administration cut – which was also applied to the Arts Council and other NDPBs – the department’s latest cuts have been passed straight on to the bodies it funds.”
Because ACE believes it can not cut administration costs any further, that effectively means ACE will have to pass the cuts on to the 696 bodies it funds in its National Portfolio, organisations from local galleries, regional theatres and big beasts such as the Royal Opera House.
It comes after the 30% cut applied to ACE in 2010 – limited to 15% for frontline arts organisations – and for many it comes in addition to local authority cuts, some of which have happened, some of which are planned. Newcastle city council is planning to cut arts organisations by 100%, by axing its entire £2.5m culture budget.