English Heritage (EH) has said it is ‘very disappointed’ after suffering a second double-digit cut to its revenue funding in three years
The organisation’s main sponsor, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) told EH this week it would have to find savings of 10 per cent from its 2015/16 budget. In 2010 the heritage body had a huge 30 per cent sliced off its budget (see AJ 21.10.2010).
The news comes just days after chancellor George Osborne announced as part of his Spending Review that EH would be split into two separate organisations with the government handing EH an £80 million cash injection to help create a new National Heritage Collection arm. This charitable body will take on the responsibility for looking after historic properties such as Stonehenge and Dover Castle.
Meanwhile EH’s planning and heritage protection responsibilities will become known as the National Heritage Protection Service.
A spokesperson for EH insisted the proposed cuts would not result in a major reduction in its services. A statement read: ‘The National Heritage Collection will need less revenue funding as it works towards becoming self-financing.
‘We shall use the savings in this area to minimise the effect of the cut on the statutory side of our work. Importantly, our commitment to the National Heritage Protection Plan remains resolute. This is the work we do to identify those parts of the nation’s heritage that matter most to people and are at greatest risk - our advice, research and awareness-raising work.’
Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, said: ‘We have re-organised after the cuts of 2010 and our planning and heritage protection services are in good shape. Despite today’s news, it is our intention to enhance the service we provide to owners, developers and the public, ensuring that England’s heritage across the country is understood, valued, cared for and enjoyed.’
‘I am grateful to the Secretary of State for fighting so valiantly to secure our extra capital funding and I look forward to working with her to ensure the charity is set up on a sound financial footing. Without the £80 million one-off award, we would have been faced with significant cuts and no prospect of tackling the backlog of urgent repairs to the National Heritage Collection that has accumulated over several decades of below-inflation Government funding for English Heritage.”