Cultural announcements in the Budget 25 Mar 2014

  • The Cultural Gifts Scheme – which allows people tax deductions in return for gifting significant items to the nation – is to be increased from a limit of £30m to £40m in 2014/15 (currently the budget for the Scheme is being fully used).  Museums Association
  • The government will contribute £1m to the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta next year (events are already being added to the dedicated website here).
  • There will be major tax reliefs for theatre: 25% for touring productions and a 20% tax credit for all other productions.  The relief will apply to subsidised as well as commercial productions and will also include musicals, opera, ballet and dance.  The StageArts Council
  • English Cathedrals will receive £20m towards repairs in recognition of their part in the First World War centenary commemorations. (The Church of England has welcomed this but also says that it faces a £87m repairs shortfall: Canterbury Cathedral recently failed in a £10m bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Lincoln Cathedral needs £16m for repairs).  Telegraph
  • A new Alan Turing Institute will be given £42m over five years to look at new ways of collecting, organising and analysing big data for the benefit of business.  Guardian

Responses from cultural bodies


  • The government did not reduce the VAT on housing and renovation repair from 20% to 5%, despite calls from a large campaign group including the Heritage Alliance, which expressed disappointment.  Heritage Alliance
  • The National Science Heritage Forum said it would have liked to see some of the money made available to science organisations which work in heritage.  National Science Heritage Forum
  • Arts & Business welcomed the tax relief on film and theatre production, but argued that since museums are increasingly producing blockbuster exhibitions, there should be a much wider tax relief on creativity.  Director Philip Spedding said “Let’s get some money into the system so that theatres and filmmakers, museum curators and choreographers, painters and writers can all look to developing new projects that will bring much needed sustainability to the sector.”  Arts & Business (full speech and whole Budget document)