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National portfolio funding programme welcomes 46 south east arts organisations

  • Date: 1 April 2011
  • Area: South East
man in tutu with pocket dream written behind him

Pocket Dream, a pocket-sized Midsummer's Night Dream, Propeller Theatre, 2011.

The National portfolio announcement on Wednesday is great news for 46 arts organisations who will receive £50.5 million over three years from April 2012.

The National portfolio will replace the Arts Council's regularly funded organisation programme and is one of the biggest funding shakeups in the arts for decades.

Nationally, 695 organisations were awarded National portfolio funding, totalling £950.5 million over three years, plus additional Lottery funding for touring (£17.8 million) and children and young people (£31 million).

The new programme was launched following the Government's 29.6% cut to the Arts Council's grant in aid (GIA) for 2011-2015, of which a 14.9% cut was made to the core funding for organisations.

From Margate to Milton Keynes, the 46 south east organisations were selected for their quality, variety, excellence, innovation, and ambition across the artforms. These organisations will help us realise our ambition of great art for everyone to enrich and inspire as many people as possible. 

Six organisations who were not previously regularly funded also join the National portfolio. They are:  dreamthinkspeak in Brighton; The Opera Group in Windsor & Maidenhead; People United in Canterbury; Propeller Theatre Company in Canterbury; Southampton City Council; and The New Carnival Company in Isle of Wight.

All applicants to National Portfolio funding were assessed against criteria outlined in our 10-year strategic framework for the arts in England, Achieving great art for everyone.

Successful south east applicants include 13 visual arts organisations, three disability arts organisations, seven theatre producing organisations, four dance producing organisations.

National portfolio is one of many funding streams available to arts organisations. Our Lottery-funded Grants for the arts programme will see a £74 million increase by 2014/15. We will also be announcing other Lottery-funded programmes later this year.

Caroline Collier, Regional Chair, Arts Council England, says:  'The new National portfolio of organisations and our other funding programmes will ensure that the Arts Council retains its promise to deliver great art for everyone. 

'The portfolio furthers our ambitions to ensure that we work in partnership to create the conditions for artists and arts organisations to thrive, to attract a wide public and to increase participation in the arts.

'We have backed excellence and we are convinced that these organisations will advance our goals and priorities in exciting and effective ways.'

Sally Abbott, Regional Director, Arts Council England, says: 'The new National portfolio gives a strong mandate for arts organisations and artists to continue to produce world class but locally relevant arts in spite of a changed economic and social climate.

Our focus in the south east is to create the environment for great art to happen, supporting organisations who work with some of England's most exciting, relevant and innovative artists.'

The south east organisations joining the new National portfolio are: