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Arts to receive 5% cut while DCLG budget reduced by 10%

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport will receive a cut to its budget of 7% for 2015 to 2016, Chancellor George Osborne has said today.

Announcing the Comprehensive Spending Review [1], Osborne confirmed that the arts, along with community sport and museums, will have its budget reduced by 5%.

Meanwhile, the Department for Communities and Local Government – which provides a major source of public funding for the arts – will have 10% of its budget cut.

Osborne said: “We believe that the cultural heritage of our nations are not just an economic asset but have an intrinsic value too. When times are tough they too must make a contribution to the savings this country requires.”

He added: “The local government resource budget will be reduced by 10% in 2015 to 2016. But when all the changes affecting local government are taken into account, including local income and other central government funding, local government spending reduces by around 2%.”

Earlier this month, Arts Council England chairman Peter Bazalgette praised the DCMS for its negotiations with the Treasury.

He said that culture secretary Maria Miller and the DCMS had done an “effective job” in making the case for the value of public funding to secure the 5% cut.

Responding to today’s announcement, Bazalgette said: “A cut of 5% is a best case scenario in what are difficult and testing economic times for everyone.”

He added that the level of cuts facing local authorities is a “cause for concern”.

Meanwhile, Royal Opera House interim chief executive Sally O’Neill said she was “encouraged” that the government had listened to the sector.

She added: “We recognise that the 5% cut will have a significant impact and we will continue to do all we can to support our colleagues across the sector, including those working in the smaller and regional companies who play such a vital role in the creative industries and who may also be impacted by the 10% cut to local governments.”