Arts Council England (ACE)’s investment announcement has seen more funds donated to organisations outside of London, impacting major institutions such as the English National Opera (ENO).
The ENO is currently based at London Coliseum and will now look to relocate – reportedly to Manchester – as it has lost £12.6m ($14.4m/€14.4m) of annual funding from Arts Council England. It will instead receive £17m over three years.
Donmar Warehouse theatre, Cheek by Jowl and Oldham Coliseum are just some of the locations that have lost their entire grant from ACE.
ACE’s shake-up of funds is to ‘Level Up’ arts and culture across the country, rather than maintain a focus on the capital. It will also provide a 95% increase in investment through ‘Levelling Up for Culture Places’, which will see 78 designated towns and cities receive £43.5m annually over the next three years.
Stoke, Slough, Gloucester, and Wigan are some of the new locations that will receive funding, which is made up of public money from the UK Government and funds from the National Lottery. ACE also said that there will be a 20% increase in organisations delivering cultural activities for children and young people. This includes Midlands-based MishMash, a newcomer to ACE’s portfolio, which works to introduce pre-school children to classical music.
There will be a further increase in funding for Grimm and Co in Rotherham, which works to nurture children’s creativity and writing.
Established arts and culture organisations such as the Royal Opera House and Royal Shakespeare Company will continue to receive funding. Further newcomers include National Football Museum in Manchester and Gloucestershire Libraries, as well as innovative organisations such as Ballet Black, Manchester Collective, Open Sky Theatre, Touretteshero and Stanley Halls.
A total of 990 organisations will receive a share of £446m each year, and ACE has focused on making cultural and creative experiences accessible to as many people as possible, no matter their circumstances.
Arts Council England chair Sir Nicholas Serota said: “As well as continuing our commitment to our many established and renowned cultural organisations, I am deeply proud of the support we will be giving to those new organisations which will help ignite creativity across the country.
“We are facing economic pressures at present but this funding is about an investment in our future. This portfolio will support the next generation of visionary inventors, makers, performers and artists. In particular, the growth of our funding for organisations that support and develop work for children represents a profoundly important long-term investment in our country’s talent.”
Arts Council England chief executive Darren Henley added: “Together, each of the 990 organisations that have been offered funding today will contribute to a portfolio that is rich, varied and truly national. This is our widest ever spread of investment across the country, ensuring that many more people will have access to a wider choice of exceptional art, culture and creative opportunities on their doorsteps.
“We are in tough times but we must remember creativity brings with it extraordinary dividends, boosting our country’s economic growth, creating jobs, bringing communities closer together, and making us happier as individuals. Everyone deserves to enjoy the benefits it brings, and with this investment, we believe we’ve taken a decisive step towards making that vision a reality.”