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Spending Review: Culture budget dealt 7% cut blow

Chancellor George Osborne has cut the Department for Culture Media and Sport’s (DCMS) budget by seven per cent

Announcing his 2015/16 Spending Review, Osborne said culture heritage had ‘great intrinsic value’ but ‘must make a contribution to the savings this country requires’.

Under plans announced to the House of Commons today, DCMS’s budget will fall from £1.4 billion in 2014/15 to £1.2 billion in 2015/16.

The department will also consult with English Heritage on setting up a self-financing charity to care for buildings in the National Heritage Collection supported by £80 million from government.

Maria Miller, secretary of state for culture, media and sport, said: ‘The new £80 million investment for English Heritage is fantastic news and recognises the vital importance of the historic environment to our national life. This extra money will enable some of our most beautiful properties to be preserved and enable English Heritage to grow their income into an independent and sustainable source of funding.

‘Charitable status will give English Heritage the dual freedom to grow, develop and raise funds for the National Heritage Collection of historic sites, whilst allowing The National Heritage Protection Service to concentrate on providing impartial, expert advice. This new structure will offer a bright future for our wonderful historical environment, and a great deal for the taxpayer; keeping the properties themselves in public ownership and managing them under a licence to ensure their historic integrity is preserved.’

Funding for elite sports will meanwhile be protected and funding for museums and arts will fall by five per cent.

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