The overall budget for National portfolio organisations and Major partner museums is anticipated to be reduced by 5% in real terms in 2015/16. In order to maintain a dynamic cultural landscape across England, this means - as with the last investment process - that funding for some organisations could go up or down, others may not be funded and applications from new organisations will be welcomed.
Organisations will be invited to submit applications during a 3 month window from early January 2014. Further information about the process and the criteria for making funding applications will be made available in late autumn.
As part of this work the Arts Council will set out the full range of its funding resources including those for arts organisations and museums (funded as National portfolio organisations and Major partner museums), Grants for the arts (one-off grants for individuals and organisations) and strategic funding (programmes to tackle specific challenges such as touring, building and renovations or provision in areas of low arts engagement).
This will enable all those considering an application to be a National portfolio organisation (NPO) or Major partner museum (MPM) to make informed decisions as to whether NPO and MPM funding is right for them.
Levels of government funding are only known for the year 2015/16. Organisations will be welcomed into the portfolio for three years though the Arts Council will only be able to confirm levels of funding for 2015/16. Funding levels for 2016/17 and 17/18 will be subject to the grant-in-aid settlement the Arts Council receives. Organisations are being asked to apply for funding over three years so that they can continue to plan long term.
Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: “We received an above average settlement from Government - a good result in tough times. There will be an impact from our reduced investment - some organisations will lose funding - but we are confident that we can preserve a strong ecology for the arts and culture across England. We will invest in organisations to thrive. Some may even see funding uplifts and we will welcome new organisations in.
“There is no benefit in ‘salami-slicing’ and spreading the funds too thinly to make a substantial difference to anyone.
“The arts and culture sector has illustrated time and time again the huge contribution that it makes to the quality of life and the economy of this country. Our message to applicants and to all our partners is that we must continue to be bold, to innovate and to think creatively so that we can continue to keep the work exciting and we can give everyone in England the opportunity to experience arts and culture.”
Today the Arts Council can also confirm that from 2015 there will be a fourth round of the Capital investment programme, following on from the current rounds. Further details of all other strategic investment programmes from 2015 will follow in the autumn.
The third round of the current Capital programme for large grants, and the second round for small grants, will open to applicants in October 2013.
Over the coming months the Arts Council will continue to look at the ways in which it can make more flexible use of its National Lottery funds while preserving the important ‘additionality principle’. It will also continue work with its on-going opera and ballet analysis and will use the knowledge gained from it to develop a more strategic approach to the way in which the larger organisations in those sectors are funded.
The Arts Council England recognises that cuts to local authority budgets mean that many are facing tough decisions which may have an impact on arts and culture in their areas. During the investment process the Arts Council will work closely with local authorities and other relevant partners to make informed decisions about its investments in arts and culture throughout the country.
Further information on this, including a more detailed timeline for the process, will be available in late autumn.
Arts Council England
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 2010 and 2015, we will invest £1.9 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1.1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk