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Arts receive further in-year cuts from government

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Arts Council England has received further in-year cuts to its budget, following Wednesday’s budget announcement by chancellor George Osborne.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport will receive an extra 1% reduction to its budget in both 2013/14 and 2014/15 and this will be passed on to the arm’s length bodies it funds. ACE, along with other unprotected bodies, will receive cuts of 1.09% in 2013/14 and 1.06% in 2014/15.

A DCMS spokesperson said: “It is inevitable, given that almost all DCMS funding is passed directly to our arm’s length bodies, that we need to pass much of this cut on. We have acted as quickly as possible to give certainty to our ALBs, and ministers have decided to handle these cuts in a way that protects a number of existing commitments, such as funding for elite athletes, GREAT, and Creative Skillset.

“Apart from those protected areas, our bodies will be receiving reductions of 1.09% in 2013/14 and 1.06% in 2014/15. We will be discussing with our bodies what this means in practice.  But our ministers have always been clear that they expect the front-line services that the public value to be protected as far as possible, and for savings to be made through efficiencies and from ending lower value activity.”

These cuts follow in-year reductions already announced in January, which were 1% in 2013/14 and 2% in 2014/15, amounting to £11.6 million in lost funding. Those cuts were passed on equally across the board to organisations that ACE funds.

Commenting on the latest cuts, ACE chief executive Alan Davey said: “Added to the cuts already announced in the autumn statement, this will mean budgets for these years are cut by 2.09% and 3.06% since the Spending Review in 2010.

“We will have no choice but to pass these cuts in our grant in aid budget onto our funded organisations. Once the figures are confirmed we will let everyone know as soon as possible how we will do it and what it will mean for them.

“We understand that for many organisations every penny counts and further cuts could cause problems. Changes to budgets this near to the beginning of the financial year are never easy. This is why we will continue to work closely with them through these challenges, recognising that we are determined to support those organisations who are struggling, and continuing to ensure that they produce innovative and exciting work.”

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