The British Council has suspended the radical review of its arts strategy, which has brought and angry reaction from some film-makers and artists.

ScreenDaily reported this week that there were serious concerns that the British Council restructuring, aimed at building a 'multidisciplinary approach', would mean a loss of expertise for specialist arts areas, including film.

There is widespread concern that the Council will lose the sectoral expertise it has built up in areas such as film, and could dilute the support for international promotion activities.

This week, the Council's Director of Arts, Venu Dhupa, made a strong rebuttal that either support for the arts would be reduced, or expertise lost, in the forthcoming restructure.

But the Council has now decided to suspend the plans and the recruitment process for the new-look body has been halted.

A statement said: 'The restructuring process has been suspended until further notice. It has been agreed that this will not commence again until completion of the internal consultation period.

'We believe it is very important if we are going to have an open discussion that staff don't feel anxious about their jobs, so the recruitment process is suspended until further notice.'

There will now be an internal and externalconsulation period beginning on February 11 with the aim of formulating a new strategy.

The British Council will continue with its current structure for the time being.