The Department of Culture, Media and Sport has agreed an eight percent cut with the Treasury, of which five percent will be exacted from arts and museums, the BBC has confirmed.
This is tough, but by no means as bad as feared. Two arts chiefs I spoke to this morning were sanguine about that result.
The Culture Secretary Maria Muller held the line and achieved the same cut as other spending departments. She was attacked in the Times this morning for refusing to ‘debate’ with one of its journalists, but her polemical skills were applied better and more forensically at the Treasury. She has done well.
What remains is the question whether her department will – or should – survive the next cull. As far as the arts are concerned there is too much bureaucratic duplication. Either DCMS or Arts Council England should get the chop. The consequent savings should be passed directly to arts organisations.
See our editorial. More follows.