Tax relief for permanent and temporary exhibitions included in Chancellor’s Autumn Statement 7/12/2016

The Chancellor Philip Hammond has made a number of announcements relating to museums and heritage in his Autumn Statement. These include:

  • Following representations by AIM, NMDC and various museums, the Chancellor has confirmed that a tax relief will apply to permanent exhibitions as well as touring and temporary exhibitions.
  • The Royal Society of Arts will receive £850m to explore the effect of cultural education interventions on Pupil Premium eligible children. The programme will begin in early 2018.
  • There will be £7.6m to help the restoration of the South Yorkshire stately home Wentworth Woodhouse. This will pay for essential repairs which will then make it possible for the National Trust to bid for the building.
  • A more flexible Gift Aid Scheme.
  • £1.8bn for Local Enterprise Partnerships with local authorities in England, which was welcomed by the Creative Industries Federation as offering potential benefit to the sector.
  • The RAF Museum receives a further £3m from LIBOR fines towards its redevelopment.

AIM expressed delight at the Chancellor’s decision on the exhibition tax relief. Art Fund Director Stephen Deuchar also welcomed the Chancellor’s decision which he said was likely to save museums up to £5m in 2017/18 and up to £30m from 2018 – 22. However, he added, “it is the relatively modest financial challenge of keeping our museums' operational costs properly covered where we now need the government’s leadership and support, especially those funded by local authorities, such as the threatened New Art Gallery Walsall.” The Local Government Association referenced museums in a statement which said the Chancellor’s proposals would not fill the local government funding shortfall to 2020 of £5.8bn. It said: “even if councils stopped filling in potholes, maintaining parks and open spaces, closed all children's centres, libraries, museums, leisure centres, turned off every street light and shut all discretionary bus routes they will not have saved enough money to plug this gap by the end of the decade.” Scotland’s unprotected budgets will also be cut by £1.3bn a year to 2020.  Gov.uk (whole autumn statement), Gov.uk (summarised in bullet points), M+H, Arts Professional, LGA, AIM, IPPR, The Scotsman