The (DCMS) Department for Culture, Media and Sport has announced an 8% cut in spending for the period 2015-2016. The deal, made with the Treasury is understood to be across the board effecting all arts disciplines and museums. Peter Bazalgette, the newly appointed Chair of Arts Council England, said it was a “massive result” for the arts, as it was originally expected to be a ten percent austerity measure.
The DCMS is the main department brokering a deal with the Chancellor George Osborne, whose spending review will be revealed on 26 June.”The Treasury has listened to the arguments of those within the arts and the DCMS”, stated Bazalgette,but cautions that the cut still “had to be managed” and it “would be tough”.
The extent of spending cuts had been predicted to be much higher after the Treasury wrote to departments earlier in the year, warning most ministers they would have to cut up to 10 per cent of their budgets for the year 2015-16.
In May, the Arts Council published a 113-page dossier, backed up with evidence, that it receives government spending of less than 0.1% and produces more than four times that for the country’s gross domestic product. A statement released by Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair of Arts Council England stated;
“We welcome the Secretary of State’s acknowledgment, on behalf of the Government, that public funding of arts and culture is essential in providing seed corn investment to help attract private money. As well as arts and culture’s crucial contribution to our quality of life, this is also an industry that delivers real economic value for our country. Research that we will publish in the coming days will demonstrate that, in return for less than one tenth of one per cent of government funding, arts and culture provides half a per cent of all employment in England and is one of its top 15 export products.
Photo: Peter Bazalgette Courtesy DCMS