English Heritage, which was heavily hit by spending cuts in 2010, looks set to be targeted again in the government’s latest Spending Review announced on Wednesday
A cut of eight per cent for 2015-2016 has already been confirmed for the quango’s main sponsor, the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS).
However it is expected the arts and museums sector will see cuts of just five per cent.
This move, sources claim, will leave English Heritage having to fill the gap and face potential reductions in its revenue of up to 10 per cent.
English Heritage has raised concern that further cuts could result in them not being able to ‘address the backlog of repairs to the National Heritage Collection’. This already requires funds which they do not have.
Commentators warn that as buildings managed by English Heritage fall further into disrepair the money required to restore them increases and spending cuts could substantially inhibit their ability to protect these ancient buildings.
Chairman of the Heritage Alliance, Loyd Grossman believes ‘English Heritage suffered disproportionately in the 2010 Spending Review’. He has written to the secretary of state Maria Miller suggesting ‘there is a tipping point beyond which English Heritage’s capacity to support local authorities, owners and investors is at risk, and its ability to carry out its statutory duties will be compromised’.
According to the ARB, English Heritage currently employs 21 architects. Back in 2010, before they were forced to undergo cuts, the organisation employed more than 30 architects.
In the past English Heritage received 75 per cent of its funding from the government. But in the 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review this was cut by 30 per cent. This slash went beyond the 24 per cent savings imposed on the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS).
In a statement English Heritage said: ‘We hope the Government recognises that further significant cuts to our Grant in Aid would put at risk our ability to protect England’s unique national heritage – something that affects all of us, wherever we live, bringing joy as well as wealth to our communities.’
When approached DCMS refused to comment about any speculation on the spending review.