Arts Council England restructure costs near £10m

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Arts Council England’s latest staff restructure has cost nearly £10 million, the body’s annual review has revealed.

Figures published for the first time as part of ACE’s annual review for 2012/13 show that the reorganisation, which has taken place in a bid to make 50% savings on administration costs, has resulted in more than £4 million in redundancy payments, as well as around £3.5 million in property costs. The accounts also record around £2.3 million in ‘accelerated depreciation’ as a result of the restructure.

In total, the cost of the restructure is currently estimated to be £9.8 million.

An ACE spokesperson said that it anticipated that the costs of the restructure would be recovered via savings in the next two financial years, while stressing that £2.3 million of the redundancy payments come from a pot given to ACE by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport specifically for that purpose.

The spokesperson added: “Arts Council England’s previous 2010 settlement for 2011-15 required that the arts council reduce its administrative costs by 50% as applied to its Grant in Aid for the arts by March 2015.

“Making these savings has required a major restructure and calls for new ways of working. The new operating model and structure has been informed by the views of our colleagues in the arts and culture sector and we will remain an intelligent and collaborative investor, advocating for arts and culture at national and local level, leading growth and ambition in the sector.”

The arts council’s last restructure – recorded in its 2009/10 accounts – cost a reported £7.3 million, £2.5 million more than originally estimated, mainly due to larger than expected costs when 215 people took redundancy, despite only 131 posts being cut.

The latest restructure will see an overall reduction in staff numbers from 559.5 full time posts to 442 posts (a decrease of 117.5 posts).

As part of this, 149 members of ACE staff are expected to have taken redundancy by the end of the restructuring process, which is still ongoing.

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