Arts Council England has announced that it is to cut 118 jobs. This represents 21% of the ACE workforce . The losses are part of a major restructuring for the organisation. The changes come as a result of the Government’s cuts made as part of the settlement for 2011-15 to reduce the administrative costs, as applied to the grant in aid for the arts by the end of March 2015. Proposals for these changes were refined during a period of formal consultation, as well as through engagement with the arts and cultural sector.
Making savings on this scale has required a major restructure and a substantial reduction in staff numbers, and will call for new ways of working. In shaping this new structure. They have been guided by the principle of remaining one national organisation with local presence, able to continue to deliver a 10-year strategy for achieving art for everyone and culture, knowledge and understanding: great museums and libraries for everyone.
The key changes include: an overall reduction in staff numbers across the organisation of 21 per cent from 559.5 full time posts to 442 (117.5 posts) four Executive Directors, reducing from eight, accountable for delivering the Arts Council’s overall strategy, with the Chief Executive leadership of artform and cultural policy expertise distributed geographically across the organisation – everyone will have a local and national focus property costs will come down by 50 per cent through reductions in the size of offices major offices will be located in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol, plus some smaller local offices to keep the Arts Council close to the arts and cultural sector, and to local government five areas covering London, the South East, the South West, the Midlands and the North replace the Arts Council’s current regions and areas
Chief executive Alan Davey said the savings “had been challenging to achieve given our already pared down structure”. The cuts will be accompanied by a regional restructuring that will see the closure of offices and merging of regions.There will be five Arts Council areas – covering London, the south east, south west, Midlands and the north – instead of the current nine. Major offices will be located in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol. Mr Davey warned the changes would mean the Arts Council would “do less” but said the organisation would still be effective.”We are protecting the relationship management and the artistic and cultural expertise we know our colleagues in the sector value, but we must be pragmatic,” he said in a statement.
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