So, more cuts to the arts budget – no surprise there. But the level of cuts coming around the corner that ACE will have to pass on are game-changing.
According to Arts Professional, Arts Council England “is planning for three scenarios of funding cuts, all of which will see the number of National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) it funds reduced by at least a third, and possibly by three quarters or more, leaving fewer than 200 arts organisations with NPO status.”
And the detail behind the headline is even more shocking:
“ACE has announced its view that the Government Spending Review on 26th June will see the DCMS take a 5.2% funding cut, but the arts will be faced with a greater cut still as other parts of the DCMS portfolio, such as funding for elite athletes, are likely to be protected.
Consequently, ACE is preparing to face three possible funding scenarios, all of which will involve the number of NPOs being dramatically reduced. A 10% cut to the arts Grant-in-Aid budget is predicted for first year of the next funding cycle, and a further 10% spread over the following two years. ACE is planning to respond to this by leaving fewer than 200, and possibly as few as 120 of the current 695 NPO organisations with regular funding agreements. Even cuts of 5% would see a third of current NPOs lose their funded status, but if the arts budget is cut by 15%, then as few as one tenth of the Portfolio would remain, including the major organisations, who account for some 80% of ACE’s NPO budget.”
It’s getting to the point now that the subsidised arts sector is clearly going to be decimated over the next 3-5 years: death by a thousand cuts.