RDA cuts to impact on museums - Museums Association

RDA cuts to impact on museums

Cuts to Regional Development Agency budgets could have immediate impact on capital projects
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Sharon Heal
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The RDAs have to find £270m of cuts this year (see table) and will eventually be scrapped and replaced with Local Enterprise Partnerships it was announced last month.

The new bodies will be made up of local authorities and business organisations but it is anticipated that they will have much less power and smaller budgets than the RDAs.

Steven Broomhead, the chief executive of the North West Development Agency, said it was working as quickly as possible to identify where its reduction in funding for this year would be found.

“The coalition government has asked the NWDA to find savings of £52m from this year’s budget, which is already over 90 per cent committed. Any Northwest programme or project that has not had their NWDA funding contracted or has yet to apply for funding for this current financial year will not secure funding from the agency.”

Projects that could be affected include the redevelopment of the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, and the National Football Museum’s plans to move to a new venue in Manchester.

The RDAs have been responsible for supporting a number of cultural projects over the past decade.

Steve Miller, the chief executive of Ironbridge Gorge Museums, said that his organisation had been well supported by the local RDA, Advantage West Midlands, which gave £6.5m towards the Blists Hill redevelopment.

He added that the RDA had also supported the tourism network and put money directly into the infrastructure of the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, which had led to a demonstrable economic benefit for the area.





Top image caption: the NWDA provided £32.7m towards the development of the Museum of Liverpool

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