The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has been asked to make £88 million of savings as part of the planned £6.2 billion public spending cuts for 2010/11, announced today by new Chancellor George Osborne.

The savings will be made by:

  • Reducing the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) budget by £27 million
  • a 3% cut to all bodies within the DCMS sector
  • cutting the department’s core budget by 3%
  • an additional reduction in Arts Council England’s (ACE) budget of £5 million
  • On the latter point, a statement on the DCMS website reads: “we are discussing with ACE the use of historic reserves that it has been hitherto unable to access, which may allow extra spending this year to mitigate the overall reduction to the arts sector”.

    Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said today: “I have been clear that all parts of DCMS’s areas would need to play their part in meeting the challenge of reducing the deficit. I have asked our bodies to make these savings while protecting frontline services wherever possible, and without interrupting the Olympic programme.

    “I understand that this will involve some difficult decisions, but the reality is that we face an incredibly tough public spending environment. Putting the economy back on its feet and restoring the nation’s finances are in the interests of all our sectors, particularly the arts and culture sectors which receive significant amounts of private finance.”

    Hunt announced that he will also be “looking to see how and where we can boost other sources of income to the sectors”, as alluded to in his inaugural speech last week.

    Reacting to the news, Louise de Winter, director of the National Campaign for the Arts (NCA), called the cuts "disconcerting" but not unexpected.

    “We don’t yet know how the £61m of savings is to be found, but these numbers are obviously very disconcerting for the arts community, where relatively small amounts of money make big differences," she said. "Of equal and pressing concern is the £1.16 billion cut to local government budgets. Local authorities have been cutting back on discretionary spending for some time now, which has had a disproportionate affect on arts, culture and heritage budgets and resulting in a real impact on frontline services offered to the public."


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