Creative Kirklees

Creative Kirklees / News / Mon 15 Jul 2019

Decline in local authority culture spend slows

Decline in local authority culture spend slows

Cuts to local authorities’ culture budgets are slowing, with a 1% drop across England reported to the Government this year.
Figures for 2019/20 show councils and other authorities are allocating a total of £38.7bn for culture and heritage, compared to £39.1bn in 2018/19.

Increased spending on culture by unitary authorities, which combine the powers and functions of several former councils, appears to be stemming the decline. Their spending is budgeted by 4%, while total spending on culture at metropolitan, shire and other authorities outside of London will shrink.

Overall, unitary authorities plan to spend £82.6m on culture next year compared to £79.3m this year. The number of unitary authorities remained constant at 56, although there were some administrative changes. Dorset Unitary Authority absorbed the functions of five local bodies, while Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole became one unitary authority.

But budgets have decreased at metropolitan districts (-4.6%), shire counties (-2%), shire districts (-1.2%) and other authorities (-2.8%).

London boroughs’ planned spending has increased slightly from £51.6m to £51.8m (up about 0.4%).

Nine fewer councils reported their planned culture spending for 2019/20 than in 2018/19 due to administrative changes.
Further councils appear to be cutting their culture budgets entirely, continuing a trend from last year, when four councils did this.

New Forest District Council, West of England Combined Authority and the Isles of Scilly are reporting a £0 budget for 2019/20.
But New Forest District Council disputed the figures, saying it had allocated £56,000 to fund five arts and cultural organisations this year and £87,270 the year before. This money was classified as “grants” rather than “culture and heritage”, a spokesperson said. West of England Combined Authority did not respond to a request for comment.

For more information visit

News Location

News Details