Ed Vaizey denies arts funding decision is imminent

Natalie Woolman
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Culture minister Ed Vaizey has quashed rumours that a decision on arts sector funding is imminent, insisting that the Treasury will not decide the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s budget until the government spending review in October.

Speaking to The Stage, Vaizey said all government departments were in the process of making preliminary submissions to the Treasury regarding their budgets, but no final settlements would be handed down until the end of the spending review, which has been scheduled for October 20.

Vaizey said: “All departments, as I understand it, are making a preliminary submission to the Treasury for the Treasury to have a look at the scenario that could play out. How negotiations go beyond that is, I think, an open question in terms of who the Treasury decides it wants to sit down with and talk to. But, as far as I am aware, no final settlement will be reached for any department until the close of the spending review.”

His assertion counters widespread rumours that the DCMS might receive an early settlement from the Treasury, and comments from Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate, who said last week that he thought the arts sector had “days rather than weeks” to make a case to politicians for its funding.

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The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, London. Photo: Noel Foster