Arts Council England (ACE) has made the decision to extend its 2023-26 National Portfolio Investment Programme through to the end of March 2027, due to the “external challenges” the cultural sector is facing in the UK.
The move follows the announcement made in October last year, where ACE revealed it would be extending its Creative People and Places National Portfolio.
“All those we currently support through these programmes will be able to apply for an extension to their funding,” said ACE in an announcement. “We’ll be sharing more about this short application process later this spring.
“We hope this will provide some certainty and security which will allow organisations to plan, look at new business models and increase collaboration.”
In a blog post, ACE chief executive Darren Henley added: “We understand some organisations will be disappointed as they’d hoped to apply for the chance to join our National Portfolio sooner. For those organisations we will continue to support your plans and help you develop in other ways for this additional year.
“Looking more broadly we need to help our sector through our other investment and development activity. And with you, we need to demonstrate to national and local politicians that sustained investment in excellent art, culture and creativity makes life worth living and creates future growth, even in hard times.
“We do not have all the answers. Our funding is limited. But we will do everything in our power to help you manage the pressures you are facing.”
Last month, the English National Opera (ENO) confirmed that its future home will be in Greater Manchester, after ACE removed the organisation from its national portfolio in 2022.
The announcement followed news of an agreement reached with ACE in July last year, in which £24m (€28m/$30m) was awarded to ENO to develop an artistic programme in a new base outside of London during the 2024-26 period.