William Eichler 14 October 2019

Whitehall announces £250m of culture spending

The Government has announced £250m of funding for cultural projects, libraries, museums and the creative industries after a decade of cuts.

Culture secretary Nicky Morgan said over £125m will be invested in regional museums and libraries around the country and more than £90m will be provided to extend the Cultural Development Fund.

A further £18.5m has been allocated to York’s National Railway Museum, and £7m will go towards Coventry and the UK City of Culture programme.

‘Creative and cultural institutions are at the heart of our communities,’ said Ms Morgan.

‘The Cultural Investment Fund is the Government’s biggest ever single investment in cultural infrastructure, local museums and neighbourhood libraries and will benefit communities across the country.

‘This will help drive growth, rejuvenate high streets and attract tourists to our world-class cultural attractions.’

Over the next five years, according to the Government, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will invest £50m each year in culture and the creative industries across England.

Due to a decade of austerity, local authorities have been forced to cut almost £400m in funding for museums, libraries, arts, and culture, a County Councils Network analysis published in January revealed.

Responding to the announcement, the chairman of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, said: ‘Councils believe every community should be able to easily access and benefit from high quality cultural organisations, including museums and libraries.

‘Local libraries play a significant role as community hubs, encouraging creativity, improving skills and knowledge, boosting wellbeing and supporting economic growth.

‘However, many buildings are not well suited to the needs of modern communities.

‘Some museums are now also in a perilous state and the LGA has long called for the investment needed to unlock their full potential to educate, improve health and wellbeing, and to celebrate local and national heritage.

‘This funding will help libraries and museums to adapt, reach even wider audiences, and continue their roles at the heart of the community.’

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