DCMS: cuts will mean “real challenges” for arts

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The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has warned that the arts are set to face further cuts as a result of the Autumn Statement.

Yesterday, it was revealed that the DCMS' budget would be cut by £12 million in 2013/14 and £22 million in 2014/15. Meanwhile, Chancellor George Osborne also said that there would be a spending review in 2013, which could result in further in-year cuts.

A spokesman for the DCMS said that the department was still working out how to pass on the budget reduction to its funded bodies, such as Arts Council England.

The spokesman added: "Ministers have decided to pass on these reductions in a way that protects a number of existing commitments, such as funding for elite athletes. As a result, not all DCMS arm’s length bodies will receive precisely the same percentage reductions. All bodies funded by DCMS will be contacted individually by the department to discuss the precise level of savings that they will be required to deliver, and the final settlement will be published on the DCMS website in due course.

"However, as with the spending review two years’ ago, ministers expect that where possible savings should be made through efficiencies and from ending lower value activity. Frontline work should be protected.

"We know these reductions will pose real challenges to our sectors and funded organisations. Cutting the deficit was bound to involve reducing public spending and that’s one of the reasons we acted in 2010 to increase the amount of Lottery money going into our sectors (whilst of course acknowledging the principle of additionality). And now, we hope that by passing these cuts on in a swift fashion, we are able to maximise the time our sectors will have to prepare for the tough decisions they will face in making the savings.

"The government remains fully committed to supporting our arts, sport and heritage sectors. But Britain is facing a huge deficit, and it’s right that all sectors play their part in reducing it."