Is the latest round of Arts Council England (ACE) funding for 2023-26 enough to prevent masses closures across the arts and culture sector?
On paper, it’s a good ‘national’ package of support, with 990 organisations across the UK receiving a share of £446 million each year.
“In total, 990 organisations will receive a share of £446 million (each year) ensuring that more people in more places can find fantastic, fulfilling art and culture on their doorsteps.”
The 20% increase in funding for those delivering creative and cultural activities for children and young people perhaps shows a strong commitment to the future and grassroots initiatives, like Grimm and Co in Rotherham.
Arts Council England Chair, Sir Nicholas Serota, said: “As well as continuing our commitment to our many established and renowned cultural organisations, I am deeply proud of the support we will be giving to those new organisations which will help ignite creativity across the country. We are facing economic pressures at present but this funding is about an investment in our future. This portfolio will support the next generation of visionary inventors, makers, performers and artists. In particular, the growth of our funding for organisations that support and develop work for children represents a profoundly important long-term investment in our country’s talent.”
And the new focus outside of London seems to show a consideration for the need to diversify funds and help make arts and culture more accessible and provide more opportunities to everyone, regardless of where they live or their circumstances.
Plus it was refreshing to see the likes of Unlimited in Yorkshire (who champion work by disabled artists) be named a National Portfolio Organisation so they can continue to push for the important change that’s needed.
But not everyone is a winner and this largely welcome redistribution of funds has meant some deep cuts for a number of London-based institutions such as the English National Opera (who will now relocate), Serpentine Galleries and the Southbank Center among the shock results.
The current cost-of-living crisis is predicted to hit the arts and culture sector like a sledgehammer and the steep rise in energy prices is going to be catastrophic, so we need to think creatively about what further action can be taken quickly…?
Image credit: Ahmad Odeh on Unsplash.