Arts Council rejects outsourcing in IT and back-office shake-up

Arts Council England has announced plans for a shake-up of its IT and back-office services.

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Arts Council England has announced plans for a shake-up of its IT and back-office services.

The arts funding body is proposing a new support services centre outside London after an internal review of the way IT, finance, grant management, human resources and customer enquiry services are delivered.

The move is aimed at saving £800,000 a year in administrative costs. It could see around 50 of the Arts Council’s 160 IT and back-office staff moved out of London, with 20 jobs to be axed.

But a spokesperson said: "We are definitely not outsourcing. All possibilities have been looked at. But we felt we had the necessary skills in-house. For effectiveness, confidentiality and everything else it was better in-house."

Arts Council chief executive Peter Hewitt, said: “As a publicly funded body we have a duty to deliver value in every possible way, so that the maximum amount of our income can be invested in developing the arts.

“These are far-reaching proposals and there are difficult decisions ahead but we are confident that what will emerge is a streamlined structure that provides excellent service in the most cost-effective way.”

The Arts Council is beginning a three-month consultation period with staff and unions about the plans.

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