Nottingham City Council proposes 100% cut to culture funding

Nottingham City Council is proposing a 100% cut to its investment in cultural organisations, and a review of library services that “will see the community library service network reduced to a statutory minimum”.1

Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham Playhouse, Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, City Arts, New Art Exchange, and Binns Organ Trust (which maintains and operates the organ at The Albert Hall) will all lose their funding from the council.2 The proposed saving of £198,000 is just 0.02% of the council’s total spending budget.3 Nottingham City of Literature has said it “will make little difference to them but have a huge impact on us as a charity and on your local library services”.4

If these cuts go ahead, the majority of community libraries will have a reduced service provision and some library staff are likely to lose their jobs.1

The council’s own Equality Impact Assessments have found that these cuts would mean “the quality, diversity and range of activities, performances, exhibitions and events may be affected, as well as enjoyment by minority ethnic communities”2, and “any potential closure of the local library for the most vulnerable will impact their ability to access warm spaces, IT facilities and signposting as well as activities such as work and homework clubs”1.

Nottingham City Council issued a ‘Section 114 notice’ on 29 November, and says it needs to address a funding gap of £50 million in 2024/25 in order to meet the legal requirement for all local authorities to set a balanced budget.

However, cutting public investment in cultural and library services will cause lasting damage to the city economically and socially, deepening its current challenges and prolonging recovery from them.

The council is currently consulting on these proposals until Tuesday 16 January 2024.
Feedback from the consultation will be discussed by councillors at a meeting of the Executive Board on Tuesday 13th February.
The Board will then agree a draft budget to go to Full Council on Monday 26th February for final approval.


  • You can leave answer boxes blank.
  • In question 3, consider acknowledging that the Council is in a difficult financial position, but that these proposals will be counterproductive. Savings from the 100% cut to culture amount to just 0.4% of the total required, and 0.02% of the council’s total spending budget.
  • You will need to select ‘I would like to view the next set of proposals and continue commenting’ when you reach questions 11, 17, 29, 34 and 39.
  • You can give your opinions on the ‘Review of Museums Service’ in question 20. This involves a £9k cut to the Museum budget and a ‘Delivery Model Assessment’ to recommend changes.5
  • You can give your opinions on the ‘Review of Library Service’ in question 24.
  • You can give your opinions on the ‘Cease contributions to the cultural sector’ in question 40.
  1. Draft EIA Reviewed – Library Services, Nottingham City Council[][][]
  2. Draft EIA – Cease contributions to Cultural Sector, Nottingham City Council[][]
  3. How Council Tax is Calculated and Used, Nottingham City Council (Gross revenue spending on council services = £1,097.4m)[]
  4. @NottmCityOfLit on Twitter/X[]
  5. Uncertainty for Nottingham Museums as council outlines budget cuts, Museums Association[]
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