Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What the comprehensive spending review means for art

This is a round-up of a list of headlines and all the relevant links I could find about statements made on:
  • the comprehensive spending reviews - from the Treasury perspective
  • what it means for art organisations - from their perspective
  • what other commentators think
It's by no means definitive yet what it means at the grass roots level and it's unlikely that will become fully clear for some time.


The main messages
  • a cut of £1.1bn over four years for Culture Media and Sports
  • Arts Council England to suffer cut of 30% in grant funding - requires 50% cut in admin and is likely to affect around 100 organisations on frontline plus
  • National Museums will be relatively protected. A deep cut of around 15% is required but is dependent on maintenance of the free entry policy.
  • Major capital projects for Tate Modern and British Museum protected
  • Concern about small organisations at a local level likely to be squuzed by Arts Council England cuts and local authority cuts
The Treasury:  Comprehensive spending review - what it means for culture and the arts

The Spending Review is a Treasury-led process to allocate resources across all government departments, according to the Government's priorities.  Spending Reviews set firm and fixed spending budgets over several years for each department.  It is then up to departments to decide how best to manage and distribute this spending within their areas of responsibility.

The Spending Review 2010 covers the four years from 2011-12 to 2014-15.

This is what the Spending review (Chapter 2: Departmental settlements (PDF 697KB))says
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) settlement includes:
  • provision for a safe and successful olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012, by maintaining a public sector funding package of £9.3 billion;
  • investing £530 million over the Spending Review period including £300 million from the TV licence fee, to improve the UK’s broadband network;
  • maintaining free entry to museums and galleries;
  • capital project funding for the Tate Modern, the British Museum, and the British Library Newspaper Archive in Boston Spa;
  • ensuring national cultural assets are preserved for future generations including by limiting cuts to 15 per cent for core programmes like Museums, Arts Council England funding to frontline arts and Sport England’s Whole Sport plans; and
  • overall resource savings of 24 per cent in real terms over the Spending Review period (excluding olympics) through slimming down the Department and its Arms Length Bodies, and focusing on key priorities.
and
While culture, media and sports will take their share of overall reductions to public spending, the Government is committed to supporting excellence and improving the quality of life for all through these sectors by:
  • encouraging corporate investment to bring in new sources of funding and philanthropic giving, particularly in the arts;
  • providing greater freedom and flexibilities for museums through easier access to reserves of privately raised funds, and taking a more strategic approach to public funding for the arts; and
  • continuing to reform Lottery funding to ensure more money goes to support projects in the arts, sport and heritage, by allocating 60 per cent of Lottery funding to these causes and 40 per cent to the voluntary and community sector.
Commons Select Committee - Culture, Media and Sport Committee
Q21 Mr Watson (to Mr Davey): Good value includes paying £13,500 to colour consultant Lothar Götz to advise you on the grey-scale colour on the walls?
Arts Organisations
Other Commentators
  • Guardian: Arts funding cut 30% in spending review - Spending review sees Arts Council England shorn of almost a third of its budget, but museums expected to maintain free entry policy
    • Arts Council England (ACE) will face an overall cut of 30%, and the government is asking it to pass on cuts of only 15% to "front line" arts organisations. 
    • The 15% cut to the arts "front line" – broadly defined as its portfolio of regularly funded organisations – means that, according to the chief executive of ACE, Alan Davey, at least 100 arts organisations will lose their funding.
    • ACE will be asked to reduce its own operating costs by 50%, having already completed an organisational review in the past 18 months that saw it cutting its costs by 21%
Last week, a survey of more than 2,000 British adults found that two-thirds agreed with the government's stance on cutting arts funding and increasing reliance on private cash.  The poll was commissioned by organisers of The Threadneedle visual arts prize.
BBC 10th September 2010

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