Spending Round 2019: an overview 10 Sep 2019

Chancellor Sajid Javid has announced a growth in spending of 4.1% above inflation across departments in the 2019 Spending Round. This will cover the period 2020 – 21, with longer term settlements to be announced next year. Aspects relevant to the cultural sector include:

  • DCMS receives £1.6bn, or a 4.1% increase in real terms. However, this follows several years of a static settlement, which represented declines in real terms.
  • This includes funding to museums and galleries and to Arts Council England and Sport England. However, no detailed allocation has yet been published.
  • There will be more money for education including £700m for special educational needs and £400m to skill up 16 – 19 year olds.
  • Overall, there will be a £13.8bn increase in spend on public services. This includes £490m increase in spend on transport including £200m on bus services.

Commenting on the budget, the Scottish Government’s Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said that the Spending Review did not offer a sufficient guarantee against a No Deal Brexit and asked that all EU funding should be ‘replaced in full by the UK Government’. NMDC commented that 'the inflationary increase for culture is a positive sign that Government understands the risk that further decreases in funding would have on the sector.' ACE is yet to comment on the settlement, but in the run up to the Spending Review published articles highlighting the importance of community cohesion through culture. Gov.uk (whole text), Gov.uk (key announcements), The Art Newspaper, Scottish Government (no deal funding), Arts Professional, NMDCACE (annual report), The Stage