Cultural regeneration gets a budget boost

Patrick Steel, 22.11.2017
Local government funding slashed
The government’s autumn budget, announced today, will provide £2m to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) for place-based cultural development, but will also see local government spending cut from £6.7bn in 2017-18 to £5.6bn in 2019-20.

The Cultural Development Fund, which was promised in the Conservative manifesto earlier this year, is designed “to support the role culture can play in regeneration and local growth”.

But the Local Government Association (LGA) is warning that the money local government has to run services is running out fast, with councils facing an overall funding gap of £5.8bn in two years.

An LGA statement said: “The budget offered nothing to ease the financial crisis facing local services.

“Funding gaps and rising demand for our adult social care and children’s services are threatening the vital services which care for our elderly and disabled, protect children and support families. This is also having a huge knock-on effect on other services our communities rely on.

“Almost 60p in every £1 that people pay in council tax could have to be spent caring for children and adults by 2020, leaving increasingly less to fund other services, like fixing potholes, cleaning streets and running leisure centres and libraries.”

Block grants for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all received a slight real-terms boost, while the DCMS will receive £1.4bn in 2017-18 and £1.5bn in 2018-19 and 2019-20.

The government also announced £668,383 from LIBOR banking fines to be allocated to the Lincolnshire Bomber Command Memorial’s Recognition, Remembrance and Reconcilitation project.

And of the £5m that was announced in the spring budget to celebrate the centenary of voting rights for women, £1.2m will be allocated to fund activities in Bolton, Bristol, Leeds, Leicester, London, Manchester and Nottingham. The rest will be allocated to “local and community projects” and a statue of Milicent Fawcett in Parliament Square.

Links and downloads

Autumn budget 2017


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23.11.2017, 12:06
I agree with the comments below. The pursuance of the policies associated with a hard Brexit, with all its high costs, will continue to have a detrimental impact on cultural exchange, learning opportunities and the museum sector far into the future.
23.11.2017, 10:14
To give a heading at all positive to a Chancellor of a party that has caused unprecedented problems for Local museums because of huge budgets cuts seems wrong.

Article does give the context though.. A more appropriate heading might be:
'Tiny fund for regeneration set up in face of unprecedented Local government cuts'