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Arts Council England's in-year cuts less harsh than expected

25 June 2010, London, UK

Dame Liz Forgan, ACE Chair
Dame Liz Forgan, ACE Chair

Arts Council England (ACE) has announced an in-year budget cut of 0.5% for its 880 regularly funded frontline arts organisations.

This move followed last month’s news that £19 million would be slashed from ACE’s 2010-11 budget as part of the Chancellor’s £6.2 billion spending reduction plan across Government.

£4 million had already been removed from ACE’s allocation by the previous Government.

In total, these measures leave ACE £23 million worse off, but for now frontline organisations have been protected and are only losing £1.8 million between them - an average of £2,000 each.

This has been achieved by taking £9m out of ACE’s own reserves, postponing a major public engagement project and cutting 4% from the budget of organisations who do not directly produce art: Creativity Culture and Education and Arts & Business. ACE will also reduce its own administrative expenditure by £400,000.

The biggest loss for frontline arts organisations in absolute terms will be experienced the Royal Opera House (£142,185), which receives ACE’s single largest annual grant of more than £28 million.

Other significant losses in the opera sector include English National Opera (£92,180), Opera North (£49,577) and Welsh National Opera (£33,976).

Commenting on the cuts, Arts Council England’s chair, Dame Liz Forgan, said that “we have done our best to minimise the effect on our funded organisations and the art they produce so brilliantly." She added: “I am confident that the decisions we have taken are the right ones - for art, for artists and for the audiences we serve.”

Meanwhile, Chancellor George Osborne revealed on Monday that worse cuts may be in store for the sector when the Comprehensive Spending Review takes place in October. He indicated that all non-protected departments – including the Department for Culture Media and Sport – could be required to reduce their budgets by as much as 25% over the next four years.


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