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Arts Council England announces successful Catalyst applicants

17 May 2012

Arts Council England today (17 May 2012) announced the 173 successful applicants to its £30 million Catalyst Arts capacity building and match funding scheme.

The Catalyst Arts scheme aims to make arts organisations more sustainable, resilient and innovative by increasing their fundraising potential and attracting new money to invest in additional artistic work. It acts as challenge funding to support additional arts activity.

173 organisations have been awarded just over £30m through the Catalyst Arts scheme. Arts Council England has made awards to organisations that are committed to making a step-change in their approach to fundraising by finding innovative ways to identify and make themselves more attractive to donors; and to make sure that donors want to keep on giving.

These awards will help the arts sector to attract new money now and in the longer term, which will be invested in additional artistic work. A full list of the Catalyst Arts awards can be seen here.

Catalyst Arts is just one part of measures the Arts Council is putting in place to help create a more sustainable, resilient and innovative arts sector, which is Goal 3 of Achieving great art for everyone.

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: “It’s marvellous to see the many innovative ways in which arts organisations have responded to this opportunity to maximise their fundraising potential.

“It is vital that the arts continue to be publically funded but, with the tough economic climate prevailing, it’s also essential to strengthen all the various sources of income that help keep the arts in this country ambitious and excellent.”

Jeremy Hunt Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport said:

“There’s huge, unlocked potential for fundraising across the cultural sector. While some claim that there’s no money to be raised outside big London organisations, I’ve seen for myself what professional, dedicated fundraising expertise can deliver in every corner of the country. We recognise there’s a challenge in making sure the right skills are available, particularly in smaller organisations, which is why these grants are a huge leap towards a future of greater financial independence for hundreds of smaller arts groups from Cornwall to Cumbria.”

Catalyst Arts capacity building and match-funding awards have been made to, amongst others:

· Buxton Arts Festival Limited which will receive £120,000 helping it to research, reorganise and invest in a new fundraising campaign to generate additional income

· Yorkshire Dance which will receive £132,000 to raise money that will help it significantly increase its artistic output;

· Rural Media Company (Hereford) which will receive £153,705 which will enable it to diversify its core income stream and will provide seed funding to kick-start new creative digital arts projects

· Northern Stage Company (Newcastle) which will receive £179,000 to enable it to invest in research, front line training and to strengthen and develop its in house skills

· Canterbury Festival which will receive £187,000 to raise money which will help it to provide an exciting new Festival venue as well as developing its programme and events

· Chester Performs which will receive £204,877 to generate funding from individuals to help the Festival to build on its reputation for innovation and enterprising organisation and to expand its educational opportunities

· Poetry Archive (Stroud) which will receive £210,000 to help it grow and find innovative and engaging ways to add to its audience’s understanding and enjoyment of poetry

· In London a collaborative application from Rich Mix and the Albany in Deptford is being funded £240,000 to showcase how partnership in fundraising works in practice, and to enhance artistic activity with diverse audiences

· And Writers Centre Norwich which will receive £240,000 to raise funds for a new literary commissioning fund

It is expected that organisations will use funds in the first year to gear up resources and build capacity- for example by recruiting a fundraiser. In the second and third years, funding will increasingly be used as match funding to incentivise gifts.

Successful applicants to the £55 million Catalyst Endowments scheme will be announced jointly by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) on 20 June 2012.

The Catalyst Endowments scheme offers match funding to arts organisations with a successful track record of fundraising to help them build endowments that provide an annual income.

There is also a £7 million Catalyst programme to support arts organisations with little or no fundraising experience who would like to build their capacity and capability to attract new donors.

The Arts Council will open this final part of the scheme in Autumn 2012, enabling it to use what has been learned from the first two strands so that the investment has the greatest possible impact. More information about this part of the Catalyst scheme will follow in the coming months.

Notes to editors

The Arts Council champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2011 and 2015, we will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.