Defra will be hit with a £162 million, or 5.5% cut to its 2010/2011 funding, as part of the Government’s overall £6bn public spending cuts in 2010/11.

A Defra spokesman could not say that whether cuts would affect the horseworld directly, but did confirm that savings would be made in the following areas:

• Limiting recruitment and reducing the number of non-permanent staff
• Operational savings in IT, estates and procurement
• A reduction in funding for Regional Development Agencies
• Efficiencies in flood management while maintaining an increase in expenditure
• Savings within the delivery of selected programs
• Savings in the Rural Development Programme (RDPE) — including reduction of capital payments
• Scaling back IT investment in the Whole Farm Approach
• Scaling back surveillance of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (BSE)

Defra is finalising the fine details, which it expects to confirm “shortly”.