Arts Council axes more than 100 jobs in £6.5 million overhaul

By Culture24 Staff | 04 March 2009
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Arts Council England Chief Executive Alan Davey reckons the departure of dozens of staff at his organisation will "make the most of our talented and motivated workforce"

More than 100 workers face losing their jobs after the UK’s national development agency for the arts announced a massive cost-cutting drive.

The Arts Council is aiming to save £6.5 million in a bid to slash its National Lottery and administration outlay by 15% next year.

In a review launching a three-month consultation with existing staff and unions, the organization outlined plans to split departments into broad regions serving a support centre and head office, reducing the total number of full-time staff from 622 to 473.

A smaller head office operating from the same building as the current London branch, four area executive directors and a central grants processing unit in Manchester are also on the cards after the Government urged the organization to cut costs.

Arts Council England Chief Executive Alan Davey argued the Council needed “to truly become one organisation which is confident and ambitious.

“I want to create a culture that moves away from the false polarities of national versus regional, that has real ambition for the arts and what the arts can do, and knows how to realise it,” he said, pledging to invest the planned savings back into the industry.

“This proposal outlines a new Arts Council where responsibilities are clear and creative input at all levels is encouraged. Making the most of our talented and motivated workforce can only be of the greatest benefit to the organisations we fund and the rich arts landscape this country has to offer.”

Final numbers will go before the National Council in July following the end of the consultation period on May 26. The changes are scheduled for completion by March 2010.

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