Arts Council England

Arts Council England announces funding for 2023 to 2026

Arts Council England has revealed the arts organisations that will receive funding from 2023 to 2026.

990 organisations are funded, amounting to £446 million a year. 950 are National Portfolio Organisations (NPO), which is up by 119 since 2018 – 2022. 266 London-based organisations are being funded in this new 2023 – 2026 period, which is up by 13.

A number of arts organisations also plan to relocate from London to other regions of the UK as part of the NPO Transfer Programme, to help level up arts across the UK.

196 theatre organisations will be funded in the latest round, with new organisations added to the portfolio including the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, Tara Theatre, Ad Infinitum Productions, Landmark Theatres Ltd, Little Bulb Theatre, Buxton Opera House, CoDa Dance Company, Full House Theatre, The Phoenix Theatre and Arts Centre, and the Shakespeare North Trust.

Key London arts organisations that have been cut from the portfolio include the Donmar Warehouse, English National Opera, and Hampstead Theatre, who will all lose their funding; other organisations that will see percentage cuts include the National Theatre (5% cut), the Southbank Centre (10% cut), and the Royal Opera House (9% cut).

ENO may have been cut from the portfolio but plans to relocate to Manchester and apply for up to £17m in conditional funding outside of the investment programme. ENO will continue to manage the London Coliseum.

Organisations which retain the same funding include the Royal Shakespeare Company and Chichester Festival Theatre.

Companies that are utilising the NPO Transfer Programme and are relocating from London include Paines Plough, Headlong, English Touring Opera, British Youth Music Theatre, Improbable, Orchestras for All, and Complicité.

Rufus Norris, the artistic director of the National Theatre, and executive director Kate Varah, said in a press statement: “Government investment in the UK’s world-class creative sector is instrumental in its success. We support the Arts Council’s decision to increase overall support for the sector; the whole of the country needs a vibrant and sustainable cultural life that supports world-leading creativity, community building and economic impact. The National Theatre is a charity that plays a unique role in that ecosystem and works in partnership with organisations nationwide. We’re grateful for the funding support for the National Theatre from Arts Council England announced today, especially given the difficult times that many people are facing. While a reduction to our ACE funding will present challenges, we remain committed to creating and sharing outstanding live and digital theatre with audiences nationally and globally.”

Adam Kenwright, Chair of the Donmar Warehouse, said:“The Donmar’s impact is wide, its voice powerful and the stories it tells are essential, making today’s decision a disappointing day not just for the Donmar, but for future generations of theatre makers. Since 2000 the Donmar has been supported by government to deliver high quality work on and off the stage that is accessible to the widest possible audiences. As we look ahead to our future, excellence and access will remain at the core of our mission. We will find a way to continue to deliver for audiences, the sector and our communities.”

English National Opera said in a statement that: “Today’s announcement marks the start of a new chapter for the English National Opera (ENO). For the past four years, the ENO has been reimagining what a modern opera company should look like, building new audiences and reach beyond London. Today’s offer of investment from Arts Council of £17 million over the next three years will allow us to increase our national presence by creating a new base out of London, potentially in Manchester. We plan to continue to manage the London Coliseum, using it to present a range of opera and dance whilst maximising it as a commercial asset.”

The Royal Opera House said in a statement that: “We support the wish to invest in the arts across the country and warmly welcome all new entrants to ACE’s national portfolio. Nonetheless, we face significant financial challenges going forward, alongside our colleagues in the sector: sharply increased energy costs, rising inflation in material costs and suppressed box office revenue as tourism recovers from the pandemic. In the face of these severe economic headwinds, we will do whatever we can to remain at the heart of the cultural life of the nation – as a landmark national institution, in cinemas right across the UK and online, or through any one of our dedicated learning and participation programmes that embed dance, theatre craft and singing in schools the length and breadth of the country. We will be discussing the details of our NPO funding arrangement with ACE over the coming months, before a final settlement is agreed early next year.”

Hampstead Theatre artistic director Roxana Silbert and executive producer Greg Ripley-Duggan said in a statement: “Hampstead Theatre is disappointed and saddened by Arts Council England’s decision to cut the theatre’s funding.We will now consider how best to ensure the future of a company that nurtures and supports so many writers and that has for so long been an essential part of British theatre. In the meantime, our current programme of new plays will continue as announced and we thank all our supporters for their ongoing commitment to our work.”

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, said: “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.”

Arts Council England press release
👤 📅4 November 2022

📷 Main photo: Arts Council England

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