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Arts Council to include museums & libraries in new funding approach

Melanie May | 18 July 2016 | News

The Arts Council has announced a number of changes to how it will invest its funding from 2018, following a consultation with the arts and culture sector.
For the first time, the Arts Council will include museums and libraries in its investment portfolio. It will also lengthen National Portfolio agreements from three to four years and introduce three funding bands into the National Portfolio.
The new provision for museums and libraries will comprise the integration of libraries and museums within the portfolio, Grants for the Arts and Strategic funds, with the Arts Council to fund arts and museums activity carried out by libraries, while their statutory work remains the funding responsibility of local authorities.
The changes will also see an end to the ring fencing of funds for arts and museums in the National Portfolio, and for libraries in Grants for the Arts, to enhance the potential for collaborative bids.
In addition, funding agreements for the Arts Council’s National Portfolio Organisations will be lengthened by a year to allow organisations more time to put their business plans in action.
The National Portfolio will now be made up of three bands, to reduce the administrative burden on those who receive less funding, while those who receive the most investment will be required to do more to contribute to all five of the Arts Council’s goals, to drive diversity, nurture talent, and to play a key role in supporting the wider sector. The portfolio will also include a new category ‘Sector Support Organisations’, covering organisations that offer support services to our sector, as opposed to producing arts and culture themselves.
Darren Henley, chief executive, Arts Council England, said:

“Guided by the views of our sector, we have made some changes to the way we will be investing from 2018. These changes will help us build on the progress we’re making towards fulfilling our strategic goals. They will ensure the impact of our investment is far reaching; that we support a wider range of organisations and artists: and that we do more to develop talent, encourage ambition and champion our national creativity.”

Consultation with over 1,000 people in the arts and culture sector took place earlier this year through a series of events and briefing sessions across the country, led by research agency ComRes. The feedback has been used to inform the Arts Council’s investment process from 2018. The new NPO applicant guidance and further details about Grants for the Arts and Culture, and strategic funds, will be published in October 2016.
Timeline of key dates:
October 4: Publication of guidance for National Portfolio applicants. Further details published on Strategic Funds and Grants for the Arts and Culture programme.
October (dates tbc): Briefings for applicants.
October 26: National Portfolio funding portal opens.
June 27 2017: National Portfolio funding decisions announced.
January 2018: New funding programmes open for Grants for the Arts and Culture and Strategic Funds.
More information can be found on the Arts Council site.


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