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More theatre cuts to come Arts Council warns

10 December 2012

Arts Council England has issued a response to the Autumn Statement, in which £34 million was cut from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's budget, warning that the cuts could be passed on to the bodies it funds. The Arts Council wil lose £11.6 million over the next two yeasr. This is on top of reductions already announced in the government's 2010 spending review, which saw the ACE budget cut by almost 30%.

The ACE press statement reads: "We now know that the reduction to DCMS budgets announced in the autumn statement will be passed on to the Arts Council as a cut to our Grant in aid £3.9 million (1 per cent) in 2013/14 and £7.7 million (2 per cent) in 2014/15.

"The government’s intention seems to have been that Whitehall departments absorb any cuts themselves from efficiencies but since the DCMS has already given itself a 50 per cent administration cut – which was also applied to the Arts Council and other NDPBs – the Department’s  latest cuts have been passed straight on to the bodies it funds.

"What is clear is that our Grant in aid budgets for National Portfolio Organisations and Museum activity will reduce by 1 per cent and 2 per cent. We must now look closely at the figures and decide how we will pass these cuts on. I am writing to these organisations to let them know this, and to reassure them that we’ll give them more detail as soon as we can."

These central government cuts come on top of cuts to arts budgets by local authorities. Newcastle has announced that it is considering cutting its arts budget to zero and Somerset has already made a 100% cut to its support for the arts. More council arts cuts are on the horizon.

Read Charlotte Higgins' Guardian Culture Blog for more information on what the Autumn Statement means for the arts: http://m.guardian.co.uk/culture/charlottehigginsblog/2012/dec/05/autumn-statement-2012-arts-funding.

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