Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is a department of the United Kingdom government, with responsibility for culture and sport in England, the building of a Digital Economy, and some aspects of the media throughout the whole UK, such as broadcasting and internet.

It also has responsibility for the tourism, leisure and creative industries (some joint with Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy). The department was also responsible for the delivery of the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Welsh: Yr Adran Ddigidol, Diwylliant, Cyfryngau a Chwaraeon
DCMS logo 1
Government Offices Great George Street

100 Parliament Street – partly occupied by DCMS on the windowless 4th floor
Department overview
Preceding Department
  • Department for National Heritage
JurisdictionEngland (culture, sport)
UK (media)
Headquarters100 Parliament Street,
London SW1A 2BQ,
Employees900 (approx)[1]
Annual budget£1.4 billion (current) & £1.3 billion (capital) for 2011–12[2]
Ministers responsible
Department executive

History and responsibilities

DCMS originates from the Department of National Heritage (DNH), which itself was created on 11 April 1992 out of various other departments, soon after the Conservative election victory. The former Ministers for the Arts and for Sport had previously been located in other departments.

DNH was renamed as the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on 14 July 1997, under the Premiership of Tony Blair. It was renamed to Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on 3 July 2017, staying DCMS under the Premiership of Theresa May to reflect the department's increased activity in the Digital sector.[3]

2012 Olympics

DCMS was the co-ordinating department for the successful bid by London to host the 2012 Olympics and appointed and oversees the agencies delivering the Games' infrastructure and programme, principally the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and LOCOG.

The June 2007 Cabinet reshuffle led to Tessa Jowell MP taking on the role of Paymaster General and then Minister for the Cabinet Office while remaining Minister for the Olympics. Ministerial responsibility for the Olympics was shared with Ms Jowell in the Cabinet Office, but the staff of the Government Olympic Executive (GOE) remained based in DCMS.


Following the 2010 general election, ministerial responsibility for the Olympics returned to the Secretary of State. Although Jeremy Hunt's full title was Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, the Department's name remained unchanged. On 4 September 2012, Hunt was appointed Health Secretary in a cabinet reshuffle and replaced by Maria Miller. Maria Miller later resigned due to controversy over her expenses. Her replacement was announced later that day as Sajid Javid.

After the 2015 general election, John Whittingdale was appointed as Secretary of State, tasked with initiating the BBC Charter review process. DCMS received full responsibility for the digital economy policy, formerly jointly held with BIS, and sponsorship of the Information Commissioner's Office from the Ministry of Justice.

Whittingdale was replaced by Karen Bradley after the referendum on the UK's membership of the EU in July 2016. The Office for Civil Society moved from the Cabinet Office to DCMS as part of the same reshuffle.

In January 2018, Matthew Hancock, previous Minister of State for Digital, was appointed Secretary of State as part of the Cabinet Reshuffle.

On 9 July 2018, Jeremy Wright became the Secretary of State for Digital, Media and Sport as part of the Cabinet Reshuffle.

Policy areas

It is responsible for government policy in the following areas:

Other responsibilities of DCMS include listing of historic buildings, scheduling of ancient monuments, export licensing of cultural goods, and management of the Government Art Collection (GAC).

The Secretary of State has responsibility for the maintenance of the land and buildings making up the historic Royal Estate under the Crown Lands Act 1851. These inherited functions, which were once centralised in the Office of Works, are now delivered as follows:

The Department also has responsibility for state ceremonial occasions and royal funerals. However, responsibility for the Civil List element of Head of State expenditure and income from the separate Crown Estate remains with the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

DCMS works jointly with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) on design issues, including sponsorship of the Design Council, and on relations with the computer games and publishing industries.

DCMS organises the annual Remembrance Day Ceremony at the Cenotaph and has responsibility for providing humanitarian assistance in the event of a disaster. In the Government's response to the 7 July 2005 London bombings the department coordinated humanitarian support to the relatives of victims and arranged the memorial events.

DCMS has also supported cyber initiatives such as the UK Cyber Security Forum to support innovation in the cyber industry.


The main offices are at 100 Parliament Street, occupying part of the building known as Government Offices Great George Street.


The DCMS Ministers are as follows:[4]

Minister Rank Portfolio
The Rt Hon. Nicky Morgan MP Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Overall responsibility for the work of DCMS and the digital economy
Nigel Adams MP Minister of State for Sport, Media and Creative Industries Sport and Commonwealth Games; oversight of departmental plans on Brexit; overall international strategy including approach to future trade deals; lead Secondary Legislation Minister (including EU Exit Sls); media and creative industries; data and national archives; cyber security.
Rebecca Pow MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Arts, Heritage and Tourism Art; museums and cultural property; libraries; heritage; tourism; gambling and lotteries; cultural diplomacy; overall approach to culture and place, including focus on enriching lives; public appointments.
Matt Warman MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Digital and Broadband Online harms and security; digital infrastructure, including Full Fibre rollout and BDUK; digital skills; digital and tech policy.
The Rt Hon. Barroness Barran MBE Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Civil Society and DCMS Lords Minister Civil Society; youth and social action; Government Inclusion Economy Unit; loneliness; all DCMS business in the House of Lords; ceremonials.

The Permanent Secretary since the end of March 2019 is Sarah Healey.[5]

Bodies sponsored by DCMS

The DCMS has policy responsibility for three statutory corporations and two public broadcasting authorities. These bodies and their operation are largely independent of Government policy influence.

Non-ministerial departments

In September 2015, DCMS gained sponsorship of one non-ministerial department:

Statutory corporations

The statutory corporations are:

The Department was responsible for the Horserace Totalisator Board (The Tote) until the sale of the Tote's business to Betfred in July 2011.

Public broadcasting authorities

The public broadcasting authorities are:

Non-departmental public bodies

The DCMS sponsors the following executive non-departmental public bodies including a number of museums and galleries:

The DCMS sponsors the following advisory non departmental public bodies:

DCMS also has responsibility for two other bodies classified by the Office for National Statistics[6] as being within the central government sector:

DCMS is also the major financial sponsor of the following bodies, which are not classed as part of the UK central government

Sponsorship of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) transferred to the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills in June 2007. The Museum of London transferred to the Greater London Authority from 1 April 2008.

DCMS formerly sponsored eight Regional Cultural Consortiums with NDPB status. In July 2008, DCMS announced that the consortiums would be phased out over a twelve-month period and replaced by a new alliance of the regional teams of Arts Council England, Sport England, English Heritage and the MLA.


Culture, sport and tourism are devolved matters, with responsibility resting with corresponding departments in the Scottish Government in Scotland, the Welsh Government in Wales and the Northern Ireland Executive in Northern Ireland.

Media-related policy is generally reserved to Westminster i.e. not devolved. These areas include:


Reserved matters:[7]

Northern Ireland

Reserved matters:[8]

The department's main counterparts in Northern Ireland are as follows:[9]


Under the Welsh devolution settlement, specific policy areas are transferred to the Welsh Government rather than reserved to Westminster.

See also


  1. ^ "About us". GOV.UK.
  2. ^ Budget 2011 (PDF). London: HM Treasury. 2011. p. 48. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 August 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  3. ^ "Change of name for DCMS". GOV.UK.
  4. ^ "These New Conservative Party Ministers Have Just Been Revealed". HuffPost UK. 26 July 2019. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  5. ^ "Appointment of new Permanent Secretary at DCMS". GOV.UK. 11 March 2019. Retrieved 6 July 2019.
  6. ^ ONS Sector Classification Guide accessed 13 August 2008 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 July 2007. Retrieved 13 August 2008.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Participation, Expert. "Scotland Act 1998".
  8. ^ Participation, Expert. "Northern Ireland Act 1998".
  9. ^ "Departments (Transfer and Assignment of Functions) Order (Northern Ireland) 1999".

External links

Video clips

Arts Council England

Arts Council England is a non-departmental public body of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. It was formed in 1994 when the Arts Council of Great Britain was divided into three separate bodies for England, Scotland and Wales. The arts funding system in England underwent considerable reorganisation in 2002 when all of the regional arts boards were subsumed into Arts Council England and became regional offices of the national organisation.

Arts Council England is a government-funded body dedicated to promoting the performing, visual and literary arts in England. Since 1994, Arts Council England has been responsible for distributing lottery funding. This investment has helped to transform the building stock of arts organisations and to create lots of additional high quality arts activity.

Since October 2011, Arts Council England has been responsible for supporting and developing museums, a function it inherited from the now defunct Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.

Churches Conservation Trust

The Churches Conservation Trust is a registered UK charity (number 258612) whose purpose is to protect historic churches at risk in England. In practice, the Trust works to prevent any deterioration in the condition of the buildings in its care and to ensure they are in use as community assets. Local communities are encouraged to use them for activities and events and the buildings provide an educational resource, allowing children and young people to study history, architecture and other subjects.

The charity cares for 354 English churches of architectural, cultural and historic significance. To date, 94% of the churches saved from closure are Grade I or Grade II listed. Many are open to visitors as heritage sites on a daily basis and nearly 2 million people visit the Trust's churches each year. The majority of the churches remain consecrated though they are not used for regular worship.

The charity is run by a board of trustees, nine individuals, who delegate the day-to-day management to a chief executive and the senior management team which includes five directors. Since 2017, the chief executive has been Peter Aiers. The central office of The Churches Conservation Trust is located at Society Building, 8 All Saints Street, London, N1 9RL.

EGames (esports)

eGames is an international esports (competitive video gaming) competition based on national teams. The first eGames showcase event took place during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at the British House in Parque Lage, Jardim Botânico on 15–16 August. The games were Smite as a show match and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U as a competition.

The eGames is a fully independent organisation and has no association with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) or Olympic Games.

The competition may be defunct, as their news page has not been updated since 2017, and a planned eGames 2018 never emerged.

Government Equalities Office

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) is the unit of the British government with responsibility for social equality. The office has lead responsibility for gender equality within the UK government, together with a responsibility to provide advice on all other forms of equality (including age, race, sexual orientation and disability) to other UK government departments. The day-to-day responsibility for policy on these issues was not transferred to GEO when it was created. The Equalities Office currently leads the Discrimination Law Review, which developed the Equality Act 2010 that replaced previous anti-discrimination legislation.

Historic England

Historic England (officially the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England) is an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). It is tasked with protecting the historical environment of England by preserving and listing historic buildings and ancient monuments and by advising central and local government.

The body was officially created by the National Heritage Act 1983, and operated from April 1984 to April 2015 under the name of English Heritage. In 2015, following the changes to English Heritage's structure that moved the protection of the National Heritage Collection into the voluntary sector in the English Heritage Trust, the body that remained was rebranded as Historic England. Historic England has a similar remit to and complements the work of Natural England, which aims to protect the natural environment.

The body also inherited the Historic England Archive from the old English Heritage, and projects linked to the archive such as Britain from Above, which saw the archive work with the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland to digitise, catalogue and put online 96,000 of the oldest Aerofilms images. The archive also holds various nationally important collections and the results of older projects such as the work of the National Buildings Record, later absorbed by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England and the Images of England project which set out to create a freely accessible online database of the 370,000 listed properties in England as a snapshot in time at the turn of the millennium.

Historic Royal Palaces

Historic Royal Palaces is an independent charity that manages some of the United Kingdom's unoccupied royal palaces.These are:

Tower of London

Hampton Court Palace

Kensington Palace (State Apartments and Orangery)

The Banqueting House, Whitehall

Kew Palace with Queen Charlotte's Cottage

Hillsborough CastleHistoric Royal Palaces was originally set up in 1989 as an executive agency of the Department of the Environment. In 1998 it became an independent charity, which is contracted by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to manage the palaces on behalf of the Queen. It receives no funding from the Government or the Crown, depending on the support of visitors, members, donors, volunteers and sponsors. 4.25 million people visited the palaces in the 2014–15 financial year.

Occupied royal palaces, such as Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, are maintained by the Royal Household Property Section, and some are open to the public.

The organisation is jointly curated by Lucy Worsley and Tracy Borman.

Horniman Museum

The Horniman Museum and Gardens is a museum in Forest Hill, London, England. Commissioned in 1898, it opened in 1901 and was designed by Charles Harrison Townsend in the Arts and Crafts style. It has displays of anthropology, natural history and musical instruments, and is known for its large collection of taxidermied animals.

It is a non-departmental public body of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and is constituted as a company and registered charity under English law.

Horserace Betting Levy Board

The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB), commonly abbreviated to the Levy Board, is a non-departmental public body of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in the United Kingdom. It is a statutory body established by the Betting Levy Act 1961 and is now operating in accordance with the provisions of the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963 (as amended).

Unlike some other non-departmental public bodies, the Levy Board receives no central Government grant-in-aid or National Lottery funding. Instead, it is required by the Act to collect a statutory levy from the horseracing business of bookmakers and the Tote successor company which it then distributes for the improvement of horseracing and breeds of horses and for the advancement of veterinary science and education.The largest share of the levy is spent on race prize money, but it also provides funding for raceday services on racecourses, integrity services, industry training and education, loans to racecourses for capital projects and veterinary science.

Minister for Sport and Civil Society

The Minister of State for Sport, Media and Creative Industries is a junior minister in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport of the United Kingdom government, with responsibility for sport and Civil Society in England. The current postholder is Nigel Adams The post is currently at Minister of State Rank. level covering sport, Tourism and Heritage. The sports minister has at various times previously reported to the Department of National Heritage, the Department of Education and Science and the Department of the Environment.

Sport is a devolved matter in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland resting with the corresponding ministers in the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Executive, although when the Northern Ireland Assembly was suspended, responsibility went to the Northern Ireland Office.

National Heritage Memorial Fund

The National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) was set up in 1980 to save the most outstanding parts of the British national heritage, in memory of those who have given their lives for the UK. It will receive £20 million Government grant in aid between 2011–15, allowing for an annual budget of between £4 million and £5 million.

A diverse list of over 1,200 heritage items have been safeguarded by the National Heritage Memorial Fund to the tune of nearly £300 million, including:

The St Cuthbert Gospel (£4.5M to the British Library, 2012)

The Mappa Mundi

The Mary Rose

Flying Scotsman

The last surviving World War II destroyer, HMS Cavalier,

Orford Ness nature reserve in Suffolk

Beamish Exhibition Colliery

Sir Walter Scott manuscripts

Antonio Canova's "The Three Graces"

Picasso's "Weeping Woman"

The Nativity, a miniature by Jean Bourdichon

Thrust2 world land speed record car

The Amarna Princess, an ancient Egyptian statuette, later proved to be a forgery by Shaun Greenhalgh

Canterbury Astrolabe Quadrant.

The personal archive of Siegfried Sassoon, World War I soldier, author and poet

Skokholm Island, site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in Pembrokeshire

The Craigievar ExpressThe NHMF is funded by grant in aid from the Government through the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

In 1993 NHMF was given the responsibility for distributing the share of heritage funding from the National Lottery for the heritage good cause. It does this through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

National Lottery Heritage Fund

The National Lottery Heritage Fund, formerly the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), distributes a share of National Lottery funding, supporting a wide range of heritage projects across the United Kingdom.

Since it was set up in 1994, under the National Lottery Act, it has awarded over £7.1billion to more than 40,000 projects, large and small, helping people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect their heritage.

The fund supports all kinds of projects, as long as they make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities. These vary from restoring natural landscapes to rescuing neglected buildings, from recording diverse community histories to providing life-changing skills training.

National Museums Liverpool

National Museums Liverpool, formerly National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside, comprises several museums and art galleries in and around Liverpool, England. All the museums and galleries in the group have free admission. The museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and an exempt charity under English law.In the 1980s, local politics in Liverpool was under the control of the Militant group of the Labour Party. In 1986, Liverpool's Militant councillors discussed closing down the city's museums and selling off their contents, in particular their art collections. To prevent this from happening the Conservative government nationalised all of Liverpool's museums under the Merseyside Museums and Galleries Order 1986 which created a new national trustee body National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside. It changed its name to National Museums Liverpool in 2003.

It holds in trust multi-disciplinary collections of worldwide origin made up of more than one million objects and works of art. The organisation holds courses, lectures, activities and events and provides educational workshops and activities for school children, young people and adults. Its venues are open to the public seven days a week 361 days a year and all exhibitions are free. National Museums Liverpool has charitable status and is England’s only national museums group based entirely outside London. It currently comprises eight different venues, one of which is outside Liverpool itself — the Lady Lever Art Gallery, located in Port Sunlight.

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, or informally Culture Secretary, is a United Kingdom cabinet position with responsibility for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The role was created in 1992 by John Major as Secretary of State for National Heritage. The first to fill the role, David Mellor, dubbed it "Minister of Fun". On 9 July 2018 Theresa May appointed Jeremy Wright to the post.

Sport England

Sport England is a non-departmental public body under the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Its role is to build the foundations of a community sport system by working with national governing bodies of sport, and other funded partners, to grow the number of people doing sport; sustain participation levels; and help more talented people from all diverse backgrounds excel by identifying them early, nurturing them, and helping them move up to the elite level.

Nick Bitel is the Chairman of Sport England and Debbie Jevans CBE is Vice Chair.

The Royal Parks

The Royal Parks is a charity which manages the eight Royal Parks and certain other areas of garden and parkland in London.

The Royal Parks charity was created in March 2017 and officially launched in July 2017. Its Chief Executive is Andrew Scattergood.

UK Anti-Doping

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) is the organisation responsible for protecting sport in the United Kingdom from doping. It is a non-departmental public body of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and is structured as a company limited by guarantee.

UKAD was formed as an independent body in November 2009, having previously been part of UK Sport. It is responsible for both the planning and implementation of anti-doping programmes. It also ensures all sports bodies in the UK comply with the World Anti-Doping Code as set out by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

UK Sport

UK Sport is the government agency responsible for investing in Olympic and Paralympic sport in the UK. It is an executive non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.

It was created following a "rock bottom" showing at the 1996 Summer Olympics where Team GB won just one solitary gold medal. Team GB and Paralympics GB went on to place third in the medal table at London 2012 and second in the table at Rio 2016.


VisitBritain is the name used by the British Tourist Authority, the tourist board of Great Britain incorporated under the Development of Tourism Act 1969.

Under memoranda of understanding with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and the offshore islands of Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man, VisitBritain also hosts information on those territories on its website. However, under the 1969 Act, the remit of the organisation extends only to Great Britain rather than the whole of the United Kingdom.VisitBritain was created in April 2003 to market Britain to the rest of the world and to promote and develop the visitor economy of England. It was formed out of a merger between the British Tourist Authority and the English Tourism Council, and is a non-departmental public body responsible to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. In April 2009, VisitEngland became more of a stand-alone body from VisitBritain, more on a par with the devolved entities, VisitScotland and VisitWales.

In 2005, it was voted the world's leading Tourist and Convention Bureau in the World Travel Awards.

In the Webby Awards it has been an Official Honoree in the 10th and 12th Webby Awards in the Tourism Category.

In 2008 it was also awarded the Travelmole Best Tourist Board Website award.VisitBritain is a founding partner of ENAT, the European Network for Accessible Tourism, an international organisation based in Europe, set up in 2006 to promote accessible tourism.


VisitEngland is the official tourist board for England.

Before 1999 it was known as the English Tourist Board and between 1999 and 2009 as the English Tourism Council. In 2003, it merged with the British Tourist Authority to form VisitBritain before re-launching as a separate corporate body in 2009. VisitEngland's stated mission is to "build England's tourism product, raise Britain’s profile worldwide, increase the volume and value of tourism exports and develop England and Britain’s visitor economy".

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