Department for Culture, Media and Sport

Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Welsh: Yr Adran Diwylliant, Cyfryngau a Chwaraeon

100 Parliament Street – partly occupied by DCMS
Department overview
Formed 1997
Preceding Department
  • Department for National Heritage
Jurisdiction England (culture, sport)
UK (media)
Headquarters 100 Parliament Street,
London SW1A 2BQ,
Employees 550 (approx)
Annual budget £1.4 billion (current) & £1.3 billion (capital) for 2011–12[1]
Minister responsible
Department executive
Child Department

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is a department of the United Kingdom government, with responsibility for culture and sport in England, 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, Innovation and Skills). The department was also responsible for the delivery of the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and the building of a Digital Economy.

History and responsibilities

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The 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.

The DNH was renamed as the "Department for Culture, Media and Sport" on 14 July 1997, under the Premiership of Tony Blair.

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. The department also gained two additional ministers, Baroness Shields and Baroness Neville-Rolfe. Whittingdale was replaced by Karen Bradley after the referendum on the UK's membership of the EU in July 2016.

Policy areas

It is responsible for government policy in the following areas:

Other responsibilities

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.


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:[2]

Minister Rank Portfolio
Karen Bradley MP Secretary of State Overall responsibility for the work of DCMS and the digital economy
Matt Hancock MP Minister of State (Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries) Broadband, Spectrum and Telecoms; Culture; Heritage and Built Environment; Internet and Creative Industries; Libraries; Media; Museums and Galleries
Tracey Crouch MP Minister for Sport, Heritage and Tourism Sport; Olympic and Paralympic Legacy; Tourism – including GREAT campaign; Gambling and Licensing; National Lottery; Ceremonial
Rob Wilson MP Minister for Civil Society Civil society; charities
Baroness Shields OBE (Joanna) Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Internet Safety and Security Making the internet a safer place for children by curbing online abuse, exploitation, bullying and access to harmful content; working with the Home Office to remove terrorist, radicalising, and extremist content from the internet; and promoting safe, open access to the internet for everyone.
Lord Ashton of Hyde (Thomas) Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Intellectual Property Lords Business (except Internet Safety)

The Permanent Secretary is Sue Owen CB.

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.

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:

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[3] 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:[4]

Northern Ireland

Reserved matters:[5]

The British Board of Film Classification also classifies films for viewing in Northern Ireland.

The department's main counterparts in Northern Ireland are as follows:[6]


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

See also


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