The Future of the Arts Council England in Question Under New Government Review

A new government review puts public funding of the council under the spotlight

By: May. 17, 2022
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Central government is set to decide the future of the Arts Council England, according to The Stage.

The new Reviews of Public Bodies programme has been launched by Jacob Rees-Mogg, the minister for Brexit opportunities and government efficiency. As part of the review, the Arts Council England's future is to be considered as part of a government review into all arm's-length bodies.

The review could see some bodies scrapped and will look to identify a minimum of 5% savings for each organisation that remains.

Rees-Mogg said: "Taxpayer's money should be spent efficiently and on worthwhile areas. It's right then that we should always look at public organisations and whether they are delivering for the British people."

The department will lead reviews in charge of each public body, meaning the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will be asked to review the public bodies it sponsors, including the Arts Council, the BFI, the National Lottery Community Fund and Historic England.

The Arts Council supports and invests in art and culture to enrich people's lives. One way it supports theatre is through The Sustained Theatre Fund, which supports the development of established and emerging Black and minority ethnic theatre makers. It also distribute The Culture Recovery Fund, set up by the government to support cultural organisations in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

At present, there are a total of 295 arm's-length bodies in England, which spend more than £220 billion each year and employ more than 300,000 people.

In a statement, the Arts Council declined to comment and said: "It is for DCMS and its ministers to decide when and how bodies are reviewed."

Read the original story on The Stage here!


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