English National Opera: Arts Council England sets budget for out-of-London move

Arts Council England has set a budget of up to £24 million for English National Opera for 2024 – 2026.

ENO will now start the process of making an application to the Arts Council for an award up to this amount. ENO’s developing plans are based on a reimagined artistic and business model with a primary base out of London, whilst continuing to own, manage and put on work at the London Coliseum. 

The decision on the application and assessment of the funding is expected to be made by the Arts Council this summer, with the award being additional to the £11.46 million already agreed for 2023/24.

The Arts Council’s 2023-26 National Portfolio program was announced on 4 November 2022, with 990 organizations receiving a share of £446 million per year. A number of London organisations saw their funding dramatically cut, including ENO, which prompted widespread outrage in the theatre and opera communities.

A month earlier, ENO’s Chief Executive, Stuart Murphy, announced that he would be stepping down from his role.

The funding cut and following outrage led Arts Council England to release a statement in January saying that they planned to commission analysis to help them shape future investment in opera and music theatre in the UK, and shortly prior to that, they announced that ENO had a one year reprieve from a total funding cut for their London operation, getting £11.5 million for the next financial year.

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