Cuts to the capital’s world-famous cultural institutions

11 November 2022: Arts Council England (ACE) has announced the starkest bout of arts cuts in London for a generation, driven by a request from Government to remove tens of millions of pounds of arts funding in the capital as part of its levelling up agenda.

The significant cuts to the capital, equating to a 21.8 per cent cut in funding for London, will take effect at warp speed. Many organisations have been given only 20 weeks’ notice of the cuts that they are facing.

These cuts, tantamount to cultural vandalism, will have devastating consequences across the capital and the UK.

Heart of London have written to ACE, Government, parliamentarians, the Mayor of London and Westminster City Council calling on ACE and the Government to publish a full economic impact assessment, to pause cuts until this has been done, and to allow institutions 12-18 months to plan how to adjust to the cuts and adapt to the levelling up agenda, rather than the current 20 weeks.

Ros Morgan, Chief Executive of Heart of London Business Alliance, said:

“The removal of tens of millions of pounds of government funding from London-based arts institutions is a devastating blow for the West End. The arts and culture sector is what makes the whole of London so successful and vibrant. During the pandemic, this sector faced near wipe-out due to lockdowns and imposed restriction. It was only with government support that this fate was narrowly averted. Now, with the starkest bout of arts cuts in the capital for a generation, it’s a case of wilful damage to the arts sector and London as a whole. Central London’s dynamic arts sector and rich culture and experiences are not merely job creators: they make the West End a unique and special place, and they are critical to the UK’s global competitiveness. We urge the government to go back to the drawing board to reconsider the consequences of these drastic cuts on the UK.”

We have created a toolkit here for Heart of London members to get involved by using the template letter to write to ACE to reconsider their decision, using social media with the suggested tweets and graphics, and signing up to the English National Opera’s funding petition here.