Entertainment & Arts

Budget 2016: Museums and galleries to get tax relief

The British Library Image copyright DCMS
Image caption The Budget included support for plans to develop the British Library's London site

Museums and galleries are to get tax relief to help cover the costs of developing temporary or touring exhibitions, the chancellor has said.

In his Budget, George Osborne also said the museum VAT refund eligibility would be extended to any museum or gallery that offers free entry.

The Museum Association's Alistair Brown said he was "delighted" with the plan.

However, he said Mr Osborne had failed to address "the fundamental problem of diminishing local authority funding".

The refund scheme, which allows organisations to "claim back VAT incurred on most goods and services purchased in order to grant free rights of admission to collections", has previously only been available to national and university museums and galleries.

A consultation into the tax relief for temporary and touring exhibition costs will be launched this summer.

At-a-glance summary: Budget key points

What the Budget means for you

Elsewhere in his Budget, Mr Osborne announced a £13m package to help support Hull's City of Culture preparations and £5m towards Shakespeare North, a new £19m theatre in Knowsley, Merseyside.

He also confirmed a £20m pledge made in last year's Autumn Statement to a "Great Exhibition of the North" and invited cities and towns in the North of England to bid to host the event.

Mr Osborne also announced a number of other projects, including:

  • A pledge to support the British Library's proposals to develop land to the north of its St Pancras site in London
  • An expansion of the Royal College of Art in Battersea, which the Treasury will spend £54m on between now and 2022
  • A £20m provision across 2016-17 and 2017-18 to fund the repair of cathedrals across Britain
  • A contribution of £5m to the Dundee V&A museum's fundraising campaign

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