Arts Council England Backs Birmingham

Arts Council England backs Birmingham with £88m of new funding – A total of 37 groups and organisations will receive a slice of funding over a four-year programme aimed at increasing access to the arts


Arts, music and theatre organisations in Birmingham are among those to benefit from more than £88 million in new funding.

Arts Council England has unveiled a new four-year investment programme starting next year which will see 37 groups and companies across the Birmingham area receive a fresh injection of capital worth £88.7 million to support their activities.

Thirteen of the recipients will be new entrants to the National Portfolio funding stream while another two will receive increased investment.

The remaining portfolio organisations will continue to receive the same amount of funding as in 2017/18.

The awards are one strand of Arts Council England’s total investment in arts and culture during 2018 to 2022 which also includes the National Lottery-funded Grants for Arts and Culture scheme.

The new National Portfolio invests in a wider range of organisations than previously with the aim of giving more people in more places access to art and culture.

Among the 13 Birmingham organisations joining the National Portfolio are Beatfreeks which works with a diverse range of young people aged between 11 and 25 to use digital, spoken word and social commentary.

Birmingham Open Media works within the disciplines of art, science and technology and hosts a public gallery space while Flatpack Projects holds the annual Flatpack Festival which is held in theatres, cinemas and other public venues across Birmingham.

Lapworth Museum of Geology at the University of Birmingham has digital plans for the centre including 3D scanning to allow fragile objects to be replicated and studied and One Dance UK is relocating from London to Birmingham to work on strengthening the dance sector in the UK.

Peter Knott, Midlands area director for Arts Council England, said: “We’re delighted to unveil our ambitious new portfolio reaching more people in more places across the Midlands than ever before.

“The Arts Council is investing more money than ever before outside London, we’re introducing 42 new organisations, including museums and libraries for the first time, as well as continuing to fund current organisations.

“We’ve been able to offer an increase to a small number of organisations we currently fund who made an exceptional case.

“The Midlands already boasts a vibrant cultural scene with an international reputation for excellence and we look forward to seeing more great art and culture being enjoyed by more audiences in more places.”

Business leaders in the city have welcomed the news of a funding boost.

Chief Executive at Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce

Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce chief executive Paul Faulkner launched the Birmingham Cultural Investment Enquiry last year to explore investment challenges and opportunities in the region’s culture sector.

He said: “This announcement from the Arts Council represents a strong vote of confidence in the cultural sector in Birmingham.

“It recognises the exceptional quality of the city’s cultural institutions and the addition of several new organisations to the portfolio underlines the growing ambitions for the city to be an international powerhouse for culture.

“It also acts as a positive call out to the business community to recognise the importance of the cultural sector to the vibrant economic life of the region and to build the relationships and investments that will make it thrive into the future.”

Established in July 2016, the Cultural Investment Enquiry saw the chamber work with the city council, Arts Council and Culture Central, a new cultural development agency for Birmingham which was created to lead and shape the future cultural life of the city and the wider region.

Leave a Reply