For more information about how we’re investing in arts and culture across England in 2015-18 explore our interactive map, infographics and more.

Expand the sections below to find out more about diverse led organisations in your area.

Diversity in our areas

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In the 2015-18 National portfolio, there are increases in funding for combined arts and festival producer Homotopia, the only lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender led organisation in the proposed portfolio, and for promoter J-Night, which brings world jazz to Yorkshire and beyond.

The North portfolio also includes a range of organisations that are national and international leaders in nurturing disabled and Black and minority ethnic artists, and some leading innovators in engaging diverse audiences and participants with work relevant to their communities.

Among these is Open Clasp, in Newcastle, one of a few theatre organisations led by women, which works with audiences across the protected characteristics.

The North has several unique organisations within the overall diversity context, including the only two that focus predominantly on working with the Chinese community – the Pagoda Chinese Youth Orchestra in Liverpool and the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Art, based in Manchester.

The Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival is the leading national event for cultures of the Middle East; Alchemy Anew in Leeds and Milapfest in Liverpool are leaders in talent development; 20 Stories High in Liverpool is an award-winning, Black and minority ethnic focused theatre company producing work for children and young people; and Sheffield based Eclipse is establishing theatre by Black British writers in the regional producing network and using digital technology to extend its reach.

The North also has strengths in relation to learning disabled work, including national touring theatre Mind the Gap, based in Bradford. In Liverpool, DaDaFest – the nation’s leading festival of disabled and deaf arts – has a growing role in supporting talent and in showcasing the work of disabled artists and companies to an international audience.


The Midlands National portfolio for 2015-18 is also showing strong support for the Creative case for diversity. Among its organisations are 2Faced Dance, which is promoting female chorographers, and Birmingham Royal Ballet, which will be focusing on reaching out to older people and the disabled.

In Lincolnshire, East Lindsey District Council is proposing to make a significant contribution to tackling socioeconomic barriers, including rural isolation and economic deprivation.

A number of the Midlands portfolio organisations are looking to reach more audiences from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, including Nottingham Contemporary and Wolverhampton Art Gallery. There are also organisations engaging with recent immigrants, including the New Art Exchange in Nottingham, which is working with the Polish community.

South West

The South West portfolio now includes theatre company Tangle, which produces work by Caribbean, African and global artists. Tangle will complement existing portfolio organisations such as St Paul’s Carnival, Art Asia and State of Emergency, giving us more opportunities to promote work by Black and minority ethnic artists, to reach more audiences and to build leadership in this area. In Bristol there is increased funding for Asian Arts Agency, which develops and supports South Asian Arts in the South West and nationally.

South East

In the South East there are increases in funding in the 2015-18 portfolio for Project Art Works, to strengthen its disability offer across visual arts; for New Wolsey Theatre to expand its work delivering the Creative case for diversity, particularly in Deaf and disability led theatre practice; and for Brighton and Hove based Carousel, which is leading in the creation and distribution of work by people with disabilities. In Watford there is an increase for Rifco Arts, which has for the past decade been promoting Asian culture to a wide public.


London sees increases in funding for several organisations focusing on diversity, including Entelechy Arts, to strengthen its offer for adults and young people with multiple and profound disabilities and older people; ActionSpace London, to help with talent development for professional visual artists with learning disabilities; and Tomorrow’s Warriors, a multicultural organisation devoted to nurturing youth jazz.

Contemporary music is further reinforced through the inclusion of Jazz re:freshed, a Black and minority ethnic led music and arts movement and record label, built around a weekly live residency in West London.