Arts council to cut 21% of staff in 2013 restructure

Alan Davey, chief executive of Arts Council England. Photo: Nick Gurney
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Arts Council England is cutting 21% of its workforce – more than 100 posts – under its latest organisational restructure.

Chief executive Alan Davey has warned that the changes will mean that the arts council will “do less and we’ll do it differently” but has insisted that the organisation will still be effective.

The review is a result of a requirement from the government, made as part of its settlement with ACE from 2011 to 2015, that the arts council reduce its administrative costs. The new structure will come into operation from July 1, 2013. Its last major restructure in 2009 saw 131 posts (coincidentally also representing 21% of staff) cut.

This restructure will see an overall reduction in staff numbers from 559.5 full time posts to 442 posts (117.5 posts). Meanwhile, ACE will be divided into five areas covering London, the south east, the south west, midlands and the north, replacing the organisation’s current regional structure of nine regional councils. It will also reduce its executive directors from eight to four and is saving property costs through reducing the size of its offices.

Davey said: “These savings have been challenging to achieve, given our already pared down structure.

“There is an absolute need for the arts council to remain an intelligent investor, leading growth and ambition in an arts and cultural sector which contributes so much to the wealth, quality of life and reputation of our nation. We are protecting the relationship management and the artistic and cultural expertise we know our colleagues in the sector value but we must be pragmatic. We’ll do less and we’ll do it differently – but we’ll do it well.”