The National Gallery, London, along with other DCMS-funded museums, will be cut by 1% in 2013/14 and 2% in 2014/15

Further cuts to hit English museums

Patrick Steel, 11.12.2012
Arts council and national museum budgets cut over next two years
The government’s announcement of £34m of cuts to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) over the financial years 2013/14 and 2014/15 are being passed on directly to Arts Council England (ACE) and national museums.

Both ACE and all DCMS-funded museums in receipt of grant-in-aid will receive a 1% cut in 2013/14 and a 2% cut in 2014/15. For ACE this translates as a loss of £3.9m in the first year, and £7.7m in the second, a total of £11.6m.

The cuts come on top of a 30% decrease in the arts council’s budget, announced in the October 2010 spending review, while the organisation is also undergoing a restructure to halve its administration costs by 2015.

Alan Davey, ACE’s chief executive, said that grant-in-aid budgets would have to reduce accordingly, but it wasn’t yet clear exactly how ACE-funded museums would be impacted.

He said: “Our grant-in-aid budgets for national portfolio organisations and museum activity will reduce by 1% and 2%. We must now look closely at the figures and decide how we will pass these cuts on.

“Some organisations are also having to deal with local authority cuts and so the situation is extremely challenging.”

The arts council is currently deliberating how the cuts should be shared across its organisations, and has told major partner organisations that it will let them know as soon as possible.

The Treasury announced last week it would not cut funding to local government in 2013/14, but that full details of ongoing local government funding would be announced in a separate Local Government Finance Settlement later this month.

Mark Taylor, director of the Museums Association, said: "With the diversity of funding for many museums these cuts could hit them in a number of directions, not just the arts council but other publicly-funded organisations, and local government.

"For many smaller museums, a further reduction of 3% or more from any source would make it hard for them to do more than just open their doors."