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Spending review: English Heritage budget cut by 30 per cent

English Heritage (EH) has had 30 per cent sliced off its budget, creating ‘exceptional challenges’ for the organisation

The Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) announced the reduction to the heritage body yesterday (21 October) as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review.

The 30 per cent EH budget slash goes beyond the 24 per cent savings imposed on the DCMS itself.

Umbrella group the Heritage Alliance has hit out at the decision. Group chair, Loyd Grossman, said: ‘Yesterday’s announcements show that government as whole still doesn’t quite “get” heritage.

‘We fear that the immediate and longer term impact of a 32 per cent cut for English Heritage and reduced funding from Local Authorities combined with the wider economic climate will lead to irreversible deterioration and loss of our heritage.’

Plans to merge English Heritage with the Heritage Lottery Fund have been dropped.

Culture minister Jeremy Hunt explained: ‘As part of this settlement, English Heritage and the other grant giving bodies will remain as separate and effective funders for the sector.  

‘We are, however, demanding significant efficiencies and as with other major bodies we are insisting that English Heritage reduces its administration budgets by 50 per cent over the Spending Review period and cuts back on non-essential services.’

Kay Andrews, chair of English Heritage, said she was ‘disappointed’ at the decision but said the body would do all it could to protect ‘front-line services’.

‘The 32 per cent cut to English Heritage’s grant from government will be exceptionally challenging to manage after years of funding decline - £130 million real-term cuts over 13 years.  It will require us to make some tough decisions.  We will work with the Heritage Lottery Fund to ensure there is no overlap or duplication in the services we provide,’ she said.

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