UK Film Council to be axed

LONDON (Reuters) - The government announced on Monday it is to abolish the UK Film Council as part of its plan to cut costs, a decision the council’s chairman described as “a big mistake.”

Since its creation in 2000, the council has helped promote the UK film industry at home and abroad by funding British filmmaking and raising the profile of British film further afield.

It had an annual budget of 15 million pounds and employed 75 people.

Its chairman Tim Bevan called the decision “a big mistake, driven by short-term thinking and political expediency.”

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt also announced that the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council will be dismantled, whilst UK Sport and Sport England will merge.

Other bodies under threat are the Advisory Council on Libraries and the Advisory Committee on Historic Wreck Sites.

Further proposals include declassifying the Advisory Committee on National Historic Ships and transferring its functions to another body, and declassifying the Theatres Trust so it can act as an independent statutory advisory body.

Reporting Isabel Coles: Editing by Steve Addison