Funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport is to rise 13.5% in real terms over three years. However, the English Heritage Monitor 2000, published by English Tourism, notes that total DCMS spending on historic buildings, monuments and sites is expected to fall £22m to £142m in 2001-02, compared with 1995-96.
Lottery funding for buildings is also due to fall sharply next year, as the Millennium Commission is superseded by the New Opportunities Fund. The funds for arts, heritage, sports and charities will each have its share of lottery proceeds cut from 20% to 16.7%.
However, even before these organisational changes come into effect, lottery funding to buildings had tailed off.
Grants allocated to historic properties by the Heritage Lottery Fund fell to £102.5m in 1998-99, compared with £135.7m the year before.
The problem is typified by regional theatres, which will receive an extra £12m next year and £25m the following year.
Peter Longman, director of the Theatres Trust, a pressure group, said: "All this money is to reduce revenue deficits. But it won't increase the capital programme to repair run-down theatres, where the loos are clogged up and the roofs leak."
The money allocated by Smith last week will go towards regional theatres, national and regional museums, royal parks, grass roots sports facilities and the new Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.