The news has been widely reported in the arts press, but here’s a round-up of the most recent cuts:

The new government has announced the abolition of the Film Council. Established by Labour in 2000 to distribute Lottery money, over the last decade it has dished out £160m to various British films — almost all of which saw little critical or box-office success. This funding ran alongside Labour’s tax breaks and similar film-making incentive schemes, which have since been estimated to have been worth around £5 billion between 2003 and 2005, and which probably totalled around £10 billion of public subsidy in the whole of the 2000s — the bulk of which was reported to have been fraudulently gained for tax dodging purposes, on film projects that were presumably intended to fail.

The Film Council’s distribution of Lottery income — currently around £32m each year — will be taken over by the British Film Institute, with the aim of establishing a new “direct and less bureaucratic relationship” with film-makers. All this suggests that the future of Screen West Midlands (funded via the UK Film Council, and the soon-to-be-abolished Advantage West Midlands) is currently uncertain.

The Film Council’s grand plan for a £45m National Film Centre would seem likely to die with it. I’m guessing that it would probably have gone to Bradford or London, but perhaps Birmingham might have been in the running.

Also announced is the abolition of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, which operates nationally from offices in Birmingham. The aim is to spend the money instead on “front-line, essential services” in arts and museums. There will also be a new government report in September, headed by the head of the British Museum, on the viability of developing new financial instruments which will enable U.S.-style endowments for arts institutions.