Arts Council England has announced changes to the way it will approach its investment, from 2018, following a consultation with the arts and culture sector.
For the first time museums and libraries will be part of the Arts Council’s investment portfolio. Libraries will only be eligible to receive Arts Council funding for the arts and museums activity they carry out, and local authorities will continue to be responsible for funding their statutory work. Funding agreements for the Arts Council’s National Portfolio Organisations will be lengthened from 3 to 4 years, to allow organisations more time to put their business plans in action.
The National Portfolio will now be made up of 3 bands, so that those who receive less funding will see their administrative burden reduced, and those who receive the most investment, will be required to do more to contribute to all five of the Arts Council’s goals, to drive diversity, nurture talent, and to play a key role in supporting the wider sector. The portfolio will also include a new category ‘Sector Support Organisations’, covering organisations that offer support services to our sector, as opposed to producing arts and culture themselves.
Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: “The Arts Council believes that everyone should have the chance to enjoy and engage with the best of art and culture, wherever they live and whatever their background. We want to reach communities that currently have little cultural provision; promote greater diversity amongst our workforce, practitioners and audiences; and ensure that every child and young person has a quality cultural education.
“Guided by the views of our sector, we have made some changes to the way we will be investing from 2018. These changes will help us build on the progress we’re making towards fulfilling our strategic goals. They will ensure the impact of our investment is far reaching; that we support a wider range of organisations and artists: and that we do more to develop talent, encourage ambition and champion our national creativity.”
Consultation with over 1,000 people in the arts and culture sector took place earlier this year through a series of events and briefing sessions across the country, led by research agency ComRes. The feedback has been used to inform the Arts Council’s investment process from 2018. The new NPO applicant guidance and further details about Grants for the Arts and Culture, and strategic funds, will be published in October 2016.
For further information, visit: www.artscouncil.org.uk/our-investment-plans-2018-22/report-and-our-response