Spring Statement includes a second round of the Levelling Up Fund 4 Apr 2022

The Chancellor’s Spring Statement includes a few items of particular relevance to the cultural sector. These include:

  • A new round of the Levelling Up Fund, with one strand covering support for heritage assets in order to ‘rejuvenate places, leading to positive social and economic outcomes at local level’. As before, this fund will be open to bids from local government, not directly from museum and heritage organisations.
  • A further £25.3m for Changing Places toilets for public places and tourist attractions.
  • Assuming the reduction in income tax from 20% to 19% goes through from 2024, there will be a three year transition period when Gift Aid is not reduced.
  • The Government will be publishing guidance for reviews of Arm’s Length Bodies, aiming to deliver savings of at least 5%.
  • VAT will be charged at 0% for solar panels and heat pumps – offering some support for venues switching to cleaner energy.

Responding, Creative UK’s Caroline Norbury said that creative tax relief should be expanded in the autumn budget to encourage new jobs in the sector, and criticised the lack of support for creative freelances. Creative UK, Gov.uk (all Spring Statement documents), Heritage Alliance (scroll to Spring Statement summary), Charity Finance Group, Gov.uk (Levelling Up fund, round two)