From April 2012, the Arts Council's suite of funding programmes will change.
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.
National portfolio funding
The National portfolio funding programme will provide £1.04 billion funding for a national portfolio of 696 organisations from April 2012. It replaces our regular funding programme, which will end on 31 March 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.
£18 million a year of Lottery income will be attached to the national portfolio and earmarked for touring. A particular focus will be on areas and communities across the country that have little or no access to high quality arts.
A further £10.5 million a year will be allocated through the National portfolio to a group of 10 Bridge delivery organisations who will provide a direct connection between the work produced by arts organisations and schools and communities.
National portfolio organisations will not be eligible to apply for the Grants for the arts programme, which will give the small, the new, the community-driven and emerging artists a better chance of success.
We will invest £440 million of strategic funding between 2012 and 2015, including two new programmes for Capital and Touring.
Strategic funding will be used to complement our £1.04 billion investment in National portfolio organisations. It will be used to target key areas and seize opportunities - including investment in capital, touring and encouraging private giving.
The Arts Council Plan for 2011-2015 sets out in more detail how strategic funding will be used to realise the priorities set out in Achieving great art for everyone - our 10-year strategic framework for the arts.
Strategic funding will be invested in three ways:
3. A general strategic grant programme, which will open in spring 2012
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, will be 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.
A Lottery budget of £202 million is earmarked for this programme for 2011-15.
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