Digital and the new National portfolio

As set out in Great art and culture for everyone, we want to support artists and arts organisations across the artforms to present and promote the arts in new and inspiring ways.

Digital technologies enable artists to connect with audiences in new ways, bringing them into a closer relationship with the arts and creating new ways for them to take part. They also support the development of new business models, new networks and new forms of creativity.

Included within the new National portfolio are organisations that are active in the digital sphere, either through creating digital art or using digital technologies to support audience engagement work, which will help to deliver our goals and priorities.

In terms of supporting digital arts practice, the Arts Council has a long and continuing tradition of supporting organisations and work within our visual arts investment, including digital arts, moving image and artists' film and video. National portfolio organisations with a role promoting digital innovation include: Furtherfield, B3, Blast Theory, Redeye, Axis, Impressions Gallery, Phoenix Arts, Somerset Film and Video, Knowle West Media Centre, Threshold Studios, Nottingham Media Centre (Broadway) and Berwick Film and Media Festival.

In addition, media or cross-artform organisations are a key part of the infrastructure for the development, production and distribution of this kind of practice and these include FACT, Lighthouse, Cornerhouse, and Watershed. The latter has received a major increase in funding, with a remit to work with artists and organisations across a broader base expanding its nationally significant role.

Across all of the Arts Council's funding programmes; the National portfolio, Grants for the arts and the new strategic lottery funds, we will respond to this digital opportunity. Other activities to encourage digital innovation to broaden reach will be supported through our work with NESTA, examining the interface between arts and technology, and we will build on the recent partnership announced with the BBC Academy.