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England’s culture sector to receive £850m in extra funding from Treasury

England's culture sector to receive £850m in extra funding from Treasury

ART NEWS

England’s culture sector to receive £850m in extra funding from Treasury

The culture sector in England will receive £850m in extra funding from the Treasury in the Budget to be announced this week by Chancellor Rishi Sunak. “The country’s most cherished museums and galleries will benefit from a £850m post-pandemic funding boost to breathe life back into our world-renowned cultural and heritage hotspots, the Chancellor is expected to announce [on 27 October],” says a statement from the UK Treasury.Museums such as the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Tate Liverpool and the Imperial War Museum in Duxford will each get a share of £300m for “arm’s-length body estate maintenance”, the Treasury says. The three-year investment will help museums, galleries and cultural hotspots redevelop and refurbish their sites, it adds. The funding is supplementary to regular annual grant-in-aid subsidies for the 15 national museums sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).Meanwhile, £125m will go towards helping build the Natural History Museum’s new scientific research centre in Oxfordshire. More than £14m will be used “to continue to move museum collection items from Blythe House [in West London] and into modern storage”.The Treasury has also announced that more than £75m will be spent to help 110 regional museums, such as the York Railway Museum, and libraries improve their buildings and digital facilities as part of the £850m budget boost. Hundreds of libraries have closed across the country however over the past decade (according to the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s (Cipfa) 2019 survey of UK libraries, 773 have shut down since the Conservative-Liberal Democrats government implemented austerity in 2010).Last November, in the government spending review, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) received a slight boost—2.3%—in spending (this review only covers the period from April 2021 to April 2022). More than £320m was ring-fenced for grant-in-aid for museums, many of which were not eligible or did not apply for the government’s £1.57bn emergency bailout.In March, Sunak announced that more than £300m would be added to the £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund while national museums will receive £90m in emergency funding to help keep them afloat.


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