DCMS cuts funding by 3 per cent - Museums Association

DCMS cuts funding by 3 per cent

All parts of DCMS budget must "play their part", says Jeremy Hunt
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Rebecca Atkinson

All bodies funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will have their funding cut by 3 per cent this financial year.

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said his department's core budget will also be cut by 3 per cent, while the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) will see its spending slashed by £27m.

There will also be a £19m - or 4% - reduction in Arts Council England’s (ACE) budget.

The cuts follow chancellor George Osborne’s announcement this morning of government spending cuts worth £6.2bn, which aim to reduce the government's budget deficit without affecting frontline services.

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The DCMS – which has one of the smallest department budgets at about £5bn – will see its budget cut by £88m during the current financial year.

Hunt said: “I have been clear that all parts of DCMS’s areas would need to play their part in meeting the challenge of reducing the deficit.

"I have asked our bodies to make these savings while protecting frontline services wherever possible, and without interrupting the Olympic programme.”

He added that it is discussing with ACE the use of historic reserves that it has previously been unable to access, which may allow extra spending this year to mitigate the overall reduction to the arts sector.

ACE has already cut its budget by £4m this financial year, so this latest cut brings its total annual reduction to £23m.

Liz Forgan, chair of ACE, said: “We do not understand why we have received a higher percentage cut than other DCMS-funded bodies. Making cuts within the financial year is very difficult. We will now need to carefully assess what this figure of £19m means.”

Forgan warned that it will be impossible to meet this cut from running costs alone: “We will do our utmost to minimise the impact on the frontline but we cannot guarantee that there will be no effect.”

Last week, Hunt warned cultural organisations that “tough” spending cuts lay ahead but promised more lottery money, longer funding settlements and a drive to increase philanthropy.

One key proposal was restoring the original 20 per cent share of National Lottery funding to arts, heritage and sport by 2012/13, up from its current 16.66 per cent share. This would provide more than £100m each year for the sector.

Hunt also said that while the new government wouldn’t politicise funding decisions made by arts organisations such as the ACE, administration costs must be reduced to 5 per cent of the budgets they distribute.

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