Cuts: ACE Confirms 6.9% Cuts Across the BoardDate: 26 October 2010
Arts Council England (ACE) has today (26 October 2010) unveiled how it plans to pass on the 29.6% cut to its budget, announced as part of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) last week, to Regularly Funded Organisations (RFOs) across England.
Following a meeting of ACE's National Council yesterday, the funding body have announced that most arts organisations will have their budgets cut by 6.9% in the next financial year, a reduction of 8.7% in real terms, with more dramatic reductions made from the start of the 2012 financial year.
The ACE announcement suggests that the blanket cut was made as a means of providing artists a "quick and fair decision, allowing organisations a degree of stability." ACE also acknowledged that local authority funding cuts resulting from the CSR were on the horizon, which would likely impact on arts organisations.
The Arts Council have also announced major cuts to organisations "whose primary purpose is not arts creation or performance" including significant changes to the way arts development and advocacy groups are funded.
Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE), which focuses on children and young people, will see its budget reduced from £38m to £19m whilst Arts and Business, which encourages philanthropy and commercial partnerships, will see its budget halved, down from £3.8m to £1.9m.
ACE have today announced that there is no core funding to support Arts and Business beyond 2012 with plans to "look at different ways to support this key area of work", a move which appears to fly in the face of the Tories' plans for the UK to adopt an increasingly philanthropic model for arts funding.
The Arts Council’s development funds, including money to support touring and cultural leadership will be reduced by 64% to £21m. The decision may well have implications for Manchester International Festival, who recieve the majority of their Arts Council support directly from a special projects fund.
Internally, the Arts Council will reduce its operating costs by 50% from the current £22m to £12m in 2015. Speaking about the cuts Liz Forgan, Chair of Arts Council England, said: “These are severe cuts, made worse by the fact that around 80% of them have to come in the first two years of the settlement. We are determined to lead the arts through this tough period, using all our knowledge, expertise, and brokering skills, and drawing on the resourcefulness and imagination around us."
Responding to the cuts announcement, Nicholas Hytner, director of the National Theatre said: "The Arts Council has done very well to translate a 14% cut into a 6.9% cut for the vast majority of its clients. The challenges of the next four years will be tough and real but I hope that most of us will be determined and inventive enough to rise to them. The Arts Council enjoys widespread confidence and support amongst the sector. I very much hope that it will not be obliged to cut itself beyond the point where it is able to operate effectively."
The 2011 financial year is being seen as a transitional year by ACE with the blanket reduction in funding to RFOs seen as the fairest way to distribute funds, ahead of far more dramatic cuts in years two to four of the settlement. The Arts Council statement today confirmed that from April 2012 to April 2015 decisions will be made on the basis of a new funding programme for organisations with funding to some organisations cut completely.
All organisations will be asked to re-apply for funding, with full details of the new system announced on 4 November 2010. Crunch time for organisations will come at the end of March 2011 when individual funding decisions for 2012 to 2015 will be announced.
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