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Announcing our investment plans for 2015 to 2018

  • Date: 1 July 2014
  • Area: National

Today we announce details of our investment plans for the next three years. This includes our new National portfolio of arts organisations and museums, representing a major public investment in England’s art and culture.

Explore our new National portfolio of arts organisations and our Major partner museums.

Watch our animated film about how our different funding streams work together to achieve great art and culture for everyone:

Our funding ecology

Highlights from our investment plans for 2015-18

  • A new National portfolio of 670 arts organisations (NPOs) and 21 Major Partner Museums (MPMs). 46 arts organisations will join the portfolio and 58 leave. 5 new museums are added to the portfolio ensuring a wider geographic spread
  • The investment in NPOs for 2015/16 will be £339.5 million, compared to £341.4m in 2014/15. The Major partner museum budget has increased to £22.6 million in 2015/16 from £21.5 million
  • Our Strategic funds will reduce to £104 million per annum in 2015/16, from £153 million in 2014/15
  • The Grants for the arts budget will increase to £70 million per year from 2015-18, from £63 million a year in 2012-15

Explore our investment

We’ve produced a range of useful links to help you understand our funding plans.

  • Take a look at our fact sheets on our National portfolio organisations, Major partner museums, our commitment to diversity and our investment across England

Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair Arts Council England said:
We are in the premier league of creative nations and this portfolio will keep us on top in an era of tight funding.  We can delight in our arts organisations and museums for the sheer inspiration they bring to our daily lives as well as their contribution to the creative sector.  I’m proud that we’ve been able to deliver such a strong and well balanced portfolio.

‘With 46 new entrants to the National Portfolio, with increased funding for Grants for the Arts, and with Creative People and Places being maintained at its current level over the next period, this settlement represents a commitment by Arts Council England to new talent and building England's arts and culture capacity all over the country. When funding is declining you have to set priorities - this we have done.’

Alan Davey, Chief Executive Arts Council England said:
‘We have produced a connected mix of organisations who can produce excellent work that will engage and succour audiences nationwide. This portfolio is about investment in new talent whilst supporting stability and continuity.  

‘The portfolio should be viewed alongside our strategic funds and Grants for the arts – these will fund added ambition and reach in a sector that has shown it is hungry to do more and audiences that have shown they are hungry for great cultural experiences.

‘But we mustn’t forget that sustaining the National Portfolio comes at a real price in terms of the reduced size of our investment in these other areas over the next three years. We have increased Grants for the arts, but have cut things like capital spending significantly. The long term health of our arts and culture depends on continued commitment from central and local government to invest in our sector.’

Read more from Alan in his blog about our investment announcements here.


Finally, we have also just announced 65 Capital awards of £71 million, from the current Capital round up to March 2015. This investment supports organisations to maintain the excellent work that audiences across the country enjoy by providing them with high-quality equipment and flexible working environments.

View our list of successful applicants here:

Join the conversation

You can join in the conversation on Twitter by following @ace_national and using #ACEfunding