The £19 million cut is in addition to an earlier in-year reduction of £4 million announced in the April 2009 Budget, meaning that the Arts Council’s original 2010/11 budget has been reduced by a total of £23 million from £468 million to £445 million.
In deciding how best to apportion the latest in-year cut the Arts Council has sought to protect and develop art, and the organisations that enable it to happen, to the fullest extent possible. The cut to regularly funded organisations’ 2010/11 income from Arts Council will, therefore, be limited to 0.5 per cent.
This has been made possible only by the exceptional use of £9 million of the Arts Council’s historic reserves, access to which was previously blocked by government. Had that not been the case, funded organisations would have sustained a three per cent (£10.8 million) cut.
The £19 million will be apportioned as follows:
• £9 million from the Arts Council’s historic reserves (see Notes to editors)
• £1.8 million from revenue grants to regularly funded organisations (0.5% reduction)
• £1.8 million from the revenue grants of the two highest funded organisations not directly producing art (£1.6 million from Creativity Culture and Education and £0.2 million from Arts & Business – a 4% reduction)
• £0.4 million from further cuts to the Arts Council’s operating costs (bringing savings on operating costs to a total of £6.9 million this year)
• £6 million from savings due to the postponement of a major public engagement project, cuts to our audience development plans, and to funds for partnership working with local authorities and the private sector
The reduction to regularly funded organisations’ grants will be taken from the final payment of the year (in most cases the quarterly payment due in January 2011) in order to give them the maximum time to adjust their financial plans.
Dame Liz Forgan, Chair of Arts Council England, said: “In-year cuts are always the most difficult to manage, because plans have already been made against an expected level of income. But we have done our best to minimise the effect on our funded organisations and the art they produce so brilliantly.
“Some immediate impact was inevitable, and in the longer term the arts sector will also feel the effect of the cutting back of projects that are key to its long term sustainability and development. But I am confident that the decisions we have taken are the right ones – for art, for artists and for the audiences we serve.”
Arts Council England’s budget for the next three years (2011-14) will be decided in the government’s Spending Review, for which results are expected in the autumn.
Speaking of the longer term picture, Dame Liz added: “The financial climate is tough, but the arts remain a compelling case for public investment. We will continue to put that case to government, and to make it clear that now reserves have been spent, the burden of any further cuts will fall on funded organisations.
“Sustained levels of public funding are vital if we are to protect the world class arts offer that previous government investment has built, and to maintain our long term ambitions to achieve great art for everyone in this country.”
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Notes to editors
1. Arts Council England’s historic reserves stood at £18.4 million. DCMS has freed £16 million. The balance of £2.4 million remains blocked from use.
Of the £16 million freed, £9 million is to be used to mitigate the in-year cuts, and £7 million will be returned to the Department. It has been agreed that £5 million of that £7 million will be returned to the Arts Council’s baseline funding for 2011/12.
2. Arts Council England works to get great art to everyone by championing, developing and investing in artistic experiences that enrich people’s lives.
We support a range of artistic activities from theatre to music, literature to dance, photography to digital art, and carnival to crafts.
Great art inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves, and the world around us. In short, it makes life better.
Between 2008 and 2011, we will invest £1.3 billion of public money from government and a further £0.3 billion from the National Lottery to create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.
3. To see a full breakdown of cuts to our regularly funded organisations, click here and select one of the related files (top right-hand corner): “cuts breakdown by region” or “cuts breakdown alphabetical”.
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Arts Council England
champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2010 and 2015, we will invest £1.9 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1.1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk