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Arts Council England: Government continues to recognise value of art and culture
There is much to welcome in the Budget for arts and culture. The Government continues to see the value culture brings to our lives, to our society and to the wider economy.
We are delighted the Chancellor has decided to extend creative sector tax reliefs to museums and galleries. Arts Council England, and the whole sector, put a strong case for this change. Theatre tax relief has already generated £25m, and this new relief could bring real benefits to museums and galleries.
It is also encouraging that more museums and galleries will be exempt from VAT. Tax changes like this are an important part of building the resilience of our exceptional museums and galleries. Some of the institutions who campaigned for this change, including in the visual arts, are not covered but we will be working alongside DCMS in the coming months to extend this provision.
We also welcome capital funding for a number of cultural organisations. This includes a further £13m committed to Hull to secure a lasting cultural legacy in the city and towards the refurbishment of Hull New Theatre (alongside the Arts Council’s existing £3m investment in Hull as the 2017 UK City of Culture).
Other welcome support will go towards the Hall for Cornwall in Truro, S1 Artspace in Sheffield, STEAMhouse in Digbeth, the Shakespeare North project in Knowsley, the Royal College of Art in Battersea, Drapers’ Hall in Coventry and the National Brunel Project in Bristol. Having the right buildings and equipment is an essential part of making arts and culture organisations better able to face the future.
The most pressing issue facing our sector at the moment is the financial challenges faced by local authorities. We will be working closely in the coming months with authorities across the country to assess how the Budget will impact their support for arts and culture.
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