Who we fund
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 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.
From April 2012, the Arts Council's suite of funding programmes changed and our regular funding programme was replaced by a new National portfolio.
This is in response to a challenging economic backdrop of a 29.6% cut to our grant in aid for 2011-15 (14.9% cut passed onto the budget of portfolio organisations), the predicted increase in Lottery income over the same period and the development of our ambitious strategic framework for the arts over 10 years, Achieving great art for everyone.
The National portfolio funding programme is providing £1.04 billion funding for a national portfolio of 696 organisations from April 2012. Created by an open application process and shaped by the five shared goals set out in our strategic framework, the portfolio consists of a rich variety of organisations across England, reflecting the quality and excellence of the arts in England.
You can find a full list of National Portfolio organisations here
£18 million a year of Lottery income is attached to the national portfolio and earmarked for touring. A particular focus is on areas and communities across the country that have little or no access to high quality arts.
A further £10.5 million a year has been allocated through the National portfolio to a group of 10 Bridge delivery organisations who are providing a direct connection between the work produced by arts organisations and schools and communities.
Grants for the Arts
The open-application Grants for the arts scheme, which is currently one of the best ways for exciting initiatives to get off the ground, has been extended and reserved for projects outside of the portfolio. As portfolio organisations are no longer eligible, it is estimated that £12 million a year will be freed up, making it readily responsive to new ideas, and to spot and nurture new talent.
Museums and Libraries
Arts Council England took over a number of the functions relating to museums and libraries on 1 October 2011, following the closure of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA).
Find out more about how we are delivering the Renaissance in the Regions funding programme for museums, and the Future Libraries programme.
For more information (media only) please contact :