A woman standing with her back to the camera. She is wearing a colourful bodice and hat.

2018-22 National Portfolio - great art and culture in the East and South East

Posted on 17 July 2017

On 27 June we announced more than £167million funding for arts and culture across the East and South East, ensuring more people, in more places have access to great art and culture.

The investment has been made through our National Portfolio for 2018-22, and will see 103 organisations receive funding – from Norfolk Museums Service and Chichester Festival Theatre through to Turner Contemporary, Milton Keynes Arts Centre and CultureMix Arts Ltd.

A woman is sat at a table with various materials making carnival costumes.
Carnival costume and head dress workshop in progress at Reading College. Image Salvo Toscano.

As part of our investment, we were able to welcome 32 new organisations to the South East 2018-22 National Portfolio – here’s an insight into just a few of those amazing organisations.

Such as Applause Rural Touring, which has a great track-record of making sure that people living in rural and isolated communities across Sussex have access to high quality arts activities. And Cohesion Plus Kent, which organises community Mela and culturally diverse festivals across Kent, bringing communities together through the arts, public education and sport. Or Essex Cultural Diversity Project, which has a great track record of reaching out to audiences who don’t typically engage with the arts.

And for the first time, we welcomed both libraries and museums to the National Portfolio. Cambridgeshire Libraries, Suffolk Libraries and the Society of Chief Librarians all joined the National Portfolio. Libraries sit at the heart of so many communities across the country and their spaces offer a wonderful opportunity for people living in highly rural areas to experience and participate in more high quality arts and cultural activity. Both Cambridgeshire Libraries and Suffolk Libraries will have an important role in helping our investment reach into many more rural communities.

Across the South East 15 museums joined the National Portfolio, which saw organisations like University of Cambridge Museums and Royal Pavilion and Museums – both former Major Partner Museums – joined by Wardown House Museum, Watts Gallery Trust and the National Horseracing Museum.

A family with young children is stood looking at the skeletal exhibits.
University of Cambridge Museums' Museum of Zoology. Image: James Linsell-Clark 

Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England said: ‘This is an exceptionally strong portfolio of organisations delivering great arts and cultural experiences to audiences throughout the East and South East of England. Our investment will support inventive, pioneering arts organisations, a range of museums and arts activity in libraries. It will reach into more places than ever before, providing more people of all ages and backgrounds with the opportunity to participate in the arts – inspiring them as artists, as audiences, or as a mix of both.

“We are delighted to increase our investment with some exciting new organisations joining. All of our National Portfolio organisations will play an essential role in reaching more people, developing local, national and international talent, and making where they’re based great places to live, work and visit.”

Capital success
At the same time as announcing successful applicants to our National Portfolio, we also shared news of six organisations that successfully applied to our Capital Grants Programme.

Cambridgeshire Music has been awarded a development grant of £111,344 towards plans to create a National Centre for Research and Engagement in Arts, Technology and Education in North Cambridge. Cambridgeshire Music has been invited to apply to Stage 2 of the Arts Council’s Capital Grants scheme and, if successful, will be awarded £888,656 for the redevelopment project.

Turner Contemporary has been invited to apply to Stage 2 of the Arts Council’s Capital Grants programme. Turner Contemporary Phase II will enable them to improve accessibility, environmental sustainability.

Jasmin Vardimon Company has been invited to apply to Stage 2 of the Arts Council’s Capital Grants programme. If successful, Jasmin Vardimon Company will establish the Jasmin Vardimon Creative Laboratory, a purpose build centre of creative excellence. It will include rehearsal and presentation spaces, dedicated training spaces, wellbeing suite and creative incubator spaces.

With the support of £499,999 from the Arts Council’s Capital Grant programme, Modern Art Oxford will undertake a programme of repairs, refurbishment and upgrades that will increase the building’s operational and energy efficiency.

A couple of people are laid on the floor drawing on a very large white canvas whilst two men stand and watch.
Modern Art Oxford, experimental drawing workshop, 2014 © Modern Art Oxford.

With the support of £499,500 from the Arts Council, Luton Culture will transform the Hat Factory with a new layout that will not only improve the venue’s functionality, but also improve the visitor experience.

Peterborough City Council has been awarded £490,000 towards the first phase in redevelopment of 19th Century Whitworth Mill in Peterborough. The project will convert the building into an interdisciplinary ‘creation centre’, whilst also providing a new home for Metal. The building will include artist studios, rehearsal spaces, overnight residency accommodation and a creative/digital business incubation hub.

With the support of £495,000 from the Arts Council’s Capital Grants programme, Focal Point Gallery will work with The Beecroft Trust to convert the former Beecroft Art Gallery into rentable workspace for artists, a community gallery and workshop space.

For more information

Read more about our National Portfolio www.artscouncil.org.uk/npo

See what other funding opportunities we offer www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding