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British Council: Closures

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 76782, tabled on 17 November 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she plans to publish the business case for the closure of British Council offices.

Answered on

23 November 2021

The unprecedented impact of the pandemic required the government to take tough but necessary decisions on the British Council's global presence and reinforced the need for the Council to do more to adapt to a changing world. As the interim CEO stated in June 2021, the British Council will stop spending Grant-in-Aid funding in 11 countries and deliver Grant-in-Aid programming through offices in other countries in a further nine. Decisions on presence were only taken after a thorough assessment - in partnership with the Council - of how the British Council's priorities link to the Government's foreign policy objectives, as set out in the Integrated Review, and how the Council can achieve the greatest impact. The British Council are in the process of determining their future operating model, which is subject to staff consultation, and this remains an operational matter for the Council.

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