Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport

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The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport is a Govt department with responsibility for culture and sport in England, the building of a Digital Economy, and some aspects of the media throughout the UK, such as broadcasting and internet.

It also has responsibility for the tourism, leisure and creative industries, some held jointly with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

Non-Ministerial Departments

National Archives

The National Archives is the official archive and publisher for the UK government and for England and Wales. It is the guardian of some of our most iconic national documents, dating back over 1,000 years.
  • Jan.09.2020: Historians revolt over plan for National Archives limit. Historians have urged the National Archives to scrap plans to curtail the number of documents they can order, saying it threatens their livelihoods and would “impoverish the nation’s memory”. The archives’ management said that the changes were based on an analysis of typical usage and would improve efficiency. The National Archives said that 98% of their users would be unaffected by the trial. There is something illogical about this. If it is going to make no difference to 98% of users, why introduce a change which will seriously inconvenience just 2% of users and prevent them from doing their jobs? Possibly a prelude to staffing cuts. Mark Bridge, The Times.
  • Sept.14.2006: National Archives squares the data circle. Burgeoning demand for public sector information has prompted controversial cost-cutting measures. The National Archives, once the dusty haunt of academic historians, solicitors' clerks and UFO conspiracists, are now an international e-publishing phenomenon. Through a series of innovative licensing deals, the organisation is taking an unusual approach to the task of digitising even obscure archives: it's encouraging private firms to foot the bill for doing so, in return for a certain amount of exclusivity - often time-limited - on the use of data. Access to the National Archives is already free, says Ceeney; the problem is that access is to the paper form. Digitising documents, especially old ones, is a slow, labour-intensive business; thus National Archives online data is not free to electronic shoppers. Ceeney says that the Archives putting the digitisation of future censuses out to private companies is the most effective route, but that we must accept that it will temporarily lie in the private, not public, domain. During that time, freedom of information on data would have temporarily to be suspended". Yet interestingly Ceeney is keen to keep the private sector alive. She would not allow a single commercial supplier (such as a very large search engine) to digitise all the data, and make it available at no cost to drive rivals out of the market. Natalie Ceeney, chief executive of the National Archives, wants a thriving rivalry of healthy companies that can each raise enough funding to bid for the digitisation projects. Michael Cross, The Guardian.

Executive Agencies


Executive Non-Departmental Public Bodies

Big Lottery Fund

Every year the Big Lottery Fund gives out £millions from the UK's National Lottery to good causes, with money going to community groups and health, education and environment projects. We are a distributor of National Lottery funding, established as a non-departmental public body by an Act of Parliament. ... ref,

Jan.2019: The National Lottery Community Fund: the Big Lottery Fund adopted a trading name, ... the new brand name clearly shows what we do and who we do it for, positioning us as part of The National Lottery family. Our new brand name does not change our legal status and we remain a corporate body created by and operating under the National Lottery etc Act 1993 as amended. Our legal name also remains the Big Lottery Fund, being the name set out in the National Lottery Act 2006.

  • 1998: The New Opportunities Fund was established to distribute National Lottery funds to health, education and environmental projects.ref

The New Opportunities Fund was established as a Lottery Distributor by the National Lottery Act 1998 to make grants to education, health and environment projects under initiatives to be specified by the Government. The Fund is a UK-wide non-departmental public body with a Board of 12 members and the Chair appointed by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. The Fund receives a share of 13.3% of the moneys paid by Camelot Group plc to the National Lottery Distribution Fund. From 21 Aug.21.2001, the New Opportunities Fund received 33.3% of these moneys. [2]

  • 1994: The Community Fund was established to distribute National Lottery funds to philanthropic, benevolent and charitable organisations.ref That is 16.7 per cent of all the money that goes to the ‘good causes’. our share of Lottery money was reduced to provide for the New Opportunities Fund in 1998. ? originally the National Lottery Charities Board; new _operating_ name in 2001 = the Community Fund. [3]

the National Lottery Charities Board (t/a Community Fund) and the New Opportunities Fund. Big Lottery Fund was formally established by the National Lottery Act 2006. The National Lottery Community Fund awards money raised by National Lottery players to communities across the UK, working with local groups and UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to thrive. The National Lottery Community Fund is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.

  • 1993: Millenium Commission, set up by the National Lottery etc. Act 1993, was an independent non-departmental public body.[4] Commissioners were appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister; the Chair of the Commission was, for most of its life, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport.

Met for the first time in Feb.1994 The Millennium Commission was set up to celebrate the turn of the millennium. It used funding raised through the UK National Lottery to assist communities in marking the close of the second millennium and celebrating the start of the third.[5] The Millennium Commission stopped receiving an income from the National Lottery in Aug.2001. The Commission's work is not yet over, however, and there are still some grants to distribute and projects to complete. All our grant-giving work is scheduled to be complete during 2006; about the same time that the Commission is expected to be wound up by Parliament.[6] The Bill will also formally establish the Big Lottery Fund to whom the Commission’s rights and responsibilities will be passed, eg. carrying out out post completion monitoring and the completion of any remaining grant programmes. [7] The National Lottery Act 2006, section 16(1)(b); the National Lottery Distributors Dissolution Order 2006 (S.I. 2006/2915), articles 1(2) and 2 (as read with article 1(1) of the Big Lottery Fund (Prescribed Expenditure) Order 2006 (S.I. 2006/3202)) The National Lottery Distributors Dissolution Order 2006 (Nov.02.2006)

The National Lottery Heritage Fund is the largest dedicated funder of heritage in the UK. It offers opportunities for conserving the nation’s heritage with emphasis on improved access, learning and engagement.

  • 1994: Heritage Lottery Fund.ref Our parent body is the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF). The NHMF allocates Lottery funds to heritage: The National Lottery Heritage Fund is the distributor. We are a non-departmental public body accountable to Parliament via the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).ref
  • 1993: National Heritage Memorial Fund became responsible for the distributon of the Lottery proceeds apportioned to heritage; accordingly, a separate fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund, was set up. The first requests for lottery money were accepted in Jan.1995.

  • 1980: National Heritage Memorial Fund.ref

The National Heritage Memorial Fund was set up by parliament in 1980. It gives grants to protect items of outstanding importance to the nation’s heritage, acting as a ‘fund of last resort’, providing financial assistance towards the acquisition, preservation and maintenance of a wide range of heritage treasures, from trains to masterpieces, wildlife havens and manuscripts.[8] The grants are made in memory of those people who have given their lives for the UK in armed conflict. The Dept for DCMS makes an annual grant-in-aidWikipedia-W.svg of £5m, slashed from its previous £12m when the Heritage Lottery Fund started receiving lottery funds – even though the Funds are legally and financially separate entities, with different funding objectives.[9]

  • 1977: There was public outcry over the auctioning of the historic Mentmore TowersWikipedia-W.svg and its precious art and objects, after the Govt declined to accept it in lieu of death duties. The loss sparked the passing of the National Heritage Act 1980, which launched the National Heritage Memorial Fund as a ‘memorial to those who have died for the UK’. The Fund was allocated the funds remaining in the National Land Fund, plus an allowance of grant-in-aid. The new Fund was to build on, and expand, the legacy of its predecessor by making grants to help acquire, maintain or preserve any land, building or structure, or any object or collection of outstanding scenic, historic, aesthetic, architectural, scientific, or artistic interest to the nation.[10]
  • 1957: The National Land Fund had been reduced to only £10m.
  • 1946: National Land Fund was set up by visionary Chancellor Hugh Dalton with a massive £50m to purchase land and buildings as “a thank-offering for victory and a war-memorial which would think finer than any work of art in stone of bronze”.

After WWII, public appreciation of our national heritage was gradually forming against a backdrop of the loss of many country houses and the break-up of their estates. Despite this, the 1946 National Land Fund lay largely unused in the Treasury.

The fund's income comes from the National Lottery which is managed by Camelot Group.[6] Its objectives are "to conserve the UK's diverse heritage, to encourage people to be involved in heritage and to widen access and learning".[7] As of 2019, it had awarded £7.9 billion to 43,000 projects.[5]

In January 2019 it simplified its funding schemes under one banner – National Lottery Grants for Heritage – with awards from £3,000 to £5 million.[5] Funding requests for projects over £5 million will be considered as part of two time-limited national competitions to be held in 2020–21 and 2022–23.[5]

Information Commissioner's Office

  • Feb.2021: Call Centre Ops LtdOpenCorporates-sm.svg of Nottingham made 159,461 direct marketing calls to users registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) between May–Oct.2019; House Guard UK LtdOpenCorporates-sm.svg in Bournemouth made 371,958. The ICO fined them a total of £270,000, but Call Centre Ops is being liquidated. The ICO said it "doesn't find directors, officers of companies or companies themselves 'guilty'".[11] So there's nothing to stop owner Roberto Milanesi from dodging the fine and setting up all over again.
  • Jan.2021: The ICO fined 4 businesses £480,000 for making 2.4m marketing calls to users registered with the Telephone Preference Service. Chameleon Marketing LtdOpenCorporates-sm.svg in Leeds; Rancom Security LtdOpenCorporates-sm.svg in Sutton Coldfield; Repair & Assure LtdOpenCorporates-sm.svg based in Redhill; and Solar Style Solutions LtdOpenCorporates-sm.svg from Stockton on Tees.[12]

Gambling Commission

ToDo: National Lottery Licence
  • Mar.19.2018: Watchdog backs away from tough betting curbs. The Gambling Commission is to recommend that the government reduce the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), known as the “crack cocaine of gambling”, to £30 or less. However, it will not explicitly back a maximum £2 stake, instead suggesting measures to combat the risk of harm. In Oct.2017, the govt confirmed that the maximum stake on the machines, which at present allow bets of £100 every 20 seconds on casino games, will be reduced to £50 or less but it has yet to commit to a specific limit. It invited representations from bookmakers, campaigners and the commission on the final level. The commission’s analysis does not take into account any financial impact on the economy, the exchequer or the industry. The Gambling Commission says that it does not define harm only in financial terms but takes into account factors such as time spent gambling. Smaller stakes could mean players spend significantly longer on the machines. Philip Hammond, Iain Duncan Smith, Carolyn Harris said: “I am extremely concerned that the govt will cave in to the intense and misleading lobbying by the bookmakers and not cut to £2. The commission’s advice now gives the govt the perfect cover to go for a “compromise” limit of between £20 – £30 that would largely protect the huge tax revenues generated by FOBTs. Campaigners will, however, question the regulator’s terms of engagement. Many will rightly be concerned about the parameters by which that evidence has been judged and the conclusions drawn. Andrew Ellson, The Times.
  • Mar.10.2018: Gambling tycoon raises the stakes in fight on addiction. Stewart Kenny, who co-founded Paddy Power in 1988 and was on the board until 2016, has criticised the company’s response to problem gambling and called on the industry to take serious action to limit the amount people lose online. He said that mandatory limits should be placed on the amount that can be deposited online and a cooling-off period imposed before they can be changed. Paddy Power in 1988. It merged with Betfair in 2016 and is now valued at more than £6.5 bn. Peter Jackson, group chief executive. Breon Corcoran was chief executive until Jan.2018. The Times, Aaron Rogan
  • Spring 2006: Institute Update. More people will suffer from a serious gambling addiction because of new gaming laws, the chief of the new Gambling Commission has admitted. Peter Dean’s comments have embarrassed the govt who assured Parliament that the new Gambling Act 2005 would not cause a rise in the number of ‘problem gamblers’. (something to do with "super casinos") But, alarmingly, the head of the new Gambling Commission didn’t seem to think more people addicted to gambling was something to worry about. He argued that any future rise in problem gambling should be proportionate to the increase in gambling. Also of concern was Mr Dean’s suggestion that the Gambling Commission will adopt a laissez faire approach to regulating the gambling industry.2 The Christian Institute.

Responsible Gambling Strategy Board

The RGSB's aim is to minimise gambling-related harm. We are the Gambling Commission’s expert advisors; we set the National Responsible Gambling Strategy ref and the priorities for research, education and treatment. We are an independent expert body which advises the Gambling Commission (and through them, the government) on the research, education and treatment elements in a national responsible gambling strategy, and determines and recommends to GambleAware (after consultation with stakeholders and experts) what research, education and treatment is required to reduce harm from problem gambling as part of an overall national responsible gambling strategy, and the levels of funding necessary to deliver the recommended priorities.

The Gambling Commission identified the need for the creation of a Responsible Gambling Strategy Board, covering England, Scotland and Wales, to:

  • develop a strategic framework and priorities for the distribution of funding for gambling research, education and treatment
  • advise on the funding needed to deliver them
  • advise the Gambling Commission and DCMS on a national responsible gambling strategy.

RGSB will determine the strategy and work closely with GambleAware to ensure the strategy is effectively delivered.

Associated Groups

GambleAware, Campaign for Fairer Gambling, Industry Group for Responsible Gambling, the Senet Group + see more in the Gambling Industry.

The Tate

Tate is an executive non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and an exempt charity defined by Schedule 3 to the Charities Act 2011.ref

National Gallery

  • Mar.26.2018: After Carillion, outsourcing looks like a dogma that’s run out of road. In 2015, the National Gallery passed 400 workers to Securitas,[13] despite a long-running protest strike; it has since de-recognised the PCS union. Some of the Tate’s visitor services were outsourced to another firm using zero-hours contracts, paying far less. Last year, that contract was passed on to Securitas, which also de-recognised the union. There are plenty more cases where long-serving public employees find themselves cast out, dismissed and alienated as not integral to their institutions. Polly Toynbee, The Guardian.
  • Mar.11.2018: National Gallery keeps £217m quiet. The National Gallery, which receives tens of millions of pounds a year in taxpayer funding, is sitting on hidden endowments and trusts worth more than £200m. The Royal Academy has about £15m, while Tate Britain and Tate Modern together have less than £30m. Despite its enormous cash pile, the National Gallery has repeatedly gone to the govt, the Art Fund charity and the National Lottery in recent years for help in purchasing paintings. The gallery has a UK-based trust with assets of £87m. This fund, partly managed offshore by BlackRock, the US investment giant, has nearly doubled in size in 5 years. The museum has a further $180m (£130m) in an endowment, the American Friends of the National Gallery, based in New York. These huge sums are not included in the National Gallery’s annual report and accounts. They can be found only on the websites of the UK and New York state charity commissions. The revelation comes after the museum was involved in an acrimonious dispute in 2015 with its gallery assistants over privatisation and an initial refusal to introduce the London living wage. The gallery also received a £20.4m grant last year from the govt, which owns its 2,300 paintings on behalf of the British public. (See Comments section) Richard Brooks, The Times.

Imperial War Museum

Public Corporations

Other Bodies

Office of Communications


OfCom is the govt-approved regulatory and competition authority for the broadcasting, telecommunications and postal industries of the UK.

See main article: Office of Communications

UK Council for Internet Safety

UKCIS is a collaborative forum through which govt, the tech community and the 3rd sector work together to improve online safety.ref UKCIS has been established to allow these organisations to collaborate and coordinate a UK-wide approach.
Priority areas of focus include online harms experienced by children such as cyberbullying and sexual exploitation; radicalisation and extremism; violence against women and girls; hate crime and hate speech; and forms of discrimination against groups protected under the Equality Act, for example on the basis of disability or race. UKCIS works with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, the Department for Education and the Home Office.

Conservatives (May)
UKCIS : UK Council for Internet Safety succeeded UKCCIS. Expanding the scope of UKCCIS, UKCIS will work to improve the online safety of everyone in the UK, particularly the needs of groups who are often targets of online abuse. The proposal to expand the remit of UKCCIS was outlined in the govt’s Internet Safety Strategy Green Paper in Oct.2017. The new Council has specific objectives reflecting children and young people’s special needs for care and protection, and will build on the pioneering work of UKCCIS.ref
Labour (Brown)
UKCCIS: UK Council for Child Internet Safety was a group of 200+ organisations drawn from across govt, industry, law, academia and charity sectors, which worked in partnership to help keep children safe online. UK Council for Child Internet SafetyWikipedia-W.svg,
Executive Board
The Executive Board will contain representatives of children’s organisations. Reflecting a cross-govt approach to internet safety, the Board will have 3 co-Ministerial chairs from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Home Office and the Department for Education. It will also include representatives from the Devolved Administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.ref
ToDo: Board: see members here, Oct.2018


  • Jul.2017: Dept for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport: Dept for Culture, Media & Sport was renamed under Theresa May as PM, to reflect the department's increased activity in the Digital sector.[1]
  • Jul.1997: Dept for Culture, Media & Sport: the Dept of National Heritage was renamed, under Tony Blair as PM.
  • Apr.1992: Dept of National Heritage was created out of various other departments, under John Major as PM. The former Minister for the Arts and Minister for Sport had previously been located in other departments. (WP)


  1. ^ About the Big Lottery Fund. BigLotteryFund. Original archived on Oct.21.2004.
  2. ^ Annual Accounts for the Financial Year ended 31 March 2002. New Opportunities Fund, Oct.07.2002. Original archived on Apr.07.2003.
  3. ^ Annual Report 2000/2001. Community Fund, Oct.2001. Original archived on Mar.28.2003.
  4. ^ About the Millenium Commission: History. Millenium Commission, x. Original archived on Nov.30.2001.
  5. ^ Annual Report and Accounts of The Millennium Commission 2001–2002. Millenium Commission, Nov.14.2002. Original archived on Apr.28.2004.
  6. ^ About: The Commission. Millenium Commission. Original archived on Jul.13.2006.
  7. ^ Annual Report and Accounts 2005-06. The Millennium Commission,, Jul.19.2006. Original archived on Apr.18.2008.
  8. ^ National Heritage Memorial Fund: Who We Are. Heritage Lottery Fund. Original archived on Jun.26.2002.
  9. ^ National Heritage Memorial Fund: Annual Report and Accounts 2003–2004. Heritage Lottery Fund, Jul.2004. Original archived on Oct.11.2007.
  10. ^ National Heritage Memorial Fund: About NHMF. National Heritage Memorial Fund. Accessed Jun.02.2020.
  11. ^ UK watchdog fines two firms £270k for cold-calling 531,000 people who had opted out. Paul Kunert, The Register, Feb.15.2021.
  12. ^ Four cold calling marketing firms fined almost £500k by ICO. That's 20 pence a pop for the 2.4 million calls made, many to Telephone Preference Service users. Paul Kunert, The Register, Jan.27.2021.
  13. ^ National Gallery hires Securitas to oversee visitor services prior to strikes. Mark Tran, The Guardian, Jul.31.2015.
  14. ^ Museum Contractor Goes Bust Emusla, IWM London is Changing, Apr.22.2016.
  15. ^ From India to Guernsey: Museum’s Outsourcing Journey Goes On. Emusla, IWM London is Changing, Jul.23.2016.