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Arts Council England funding announced for city

Published on Tuesday, June 27, 2017

LEICESTER’S museums are in line to get £1.6million of extra Arts Council England funding over the next four years. 

The city council’s Museums Service was today announced as a member of the Arts Council’s National Portfolio of funded organisations, which means it will now benefit from extra Arts Council England investment.

As a National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) the museums service will receive £400,000 a year from 2018 to 2022, aimed at helping improve accessibility and standards at museums and encouraging more visitors.

The funding was announced at Leicester’s Curve Theatre on Tuesday, June 27, by Sir Nicholas Serota, who is the chair of Arts Council England and director of the Tate art museums and galleries.

The city already has nine existing NPOs, including Curve, Phoenix and Soft Touch Arts.

In addition to Leicester’s museums, six other new NPOs in Leicester added as part of Sir Nicholas’s announcement include:

• Art Reach, a contemporary arts development agency

• Bamboozle, a theatre company working with disabled children

• Aakash Odedra dance company, based in Belgrave

• Metro-Boulot-Dodo, an innovative arts organisation based at LCB Depot

• The National Student Dance Festival, run by De Montfort University

• Serendipity, which is behind the Let’s Dance Festival and Black History Month


It is the first time that museums have been eligible for NPO funding under the Arts Council England scheme.

Leicester assistant city mayor for culture, leisure and sport, Cllr Piara Singh Clair, said: “This is really good news for Leicester’s museums service, and shows a real confidence in the city’s culture and arts.

“Citywide we now have 16 arts groups which are National Portfolio Organisations, many of which are involved in community arts and engaging people who might not otherwise be able to access the arts.

“So this news is a huge boost for the city and helps ensure a thriving, inclusive arts and cultural scene for the future.”

In the Arts Council’s 2018-2022 NPO portfolio, 831 organisations will receive a total of £1.6 billion over four years for 844 diverse projects.

Arts Council chief executive Darren Henley added: “We’ve focused on ensuring that this is a diverse portfolio that will produce work relevant to the world we live in, as well as supporting fresh talent and artists from many different backgrounds and representing different perspectives.

“The arts, and society generally, urgently need to draw on the huge resources of our national diversity. 

“To those who have entered the portfolio: welcome. You are collectively embarking on a creative journey, which will bring some profound and positive changes to our arts and cultural sector and its relationship with the public.”

Arts Council England also announced today additional funding for a consortium of which Leicester is part, which brings subsidised festivals and events to cities across the UK. The Without Walls consortium was awarded £1.2million a year for four years under the scheme.

Phoenix was also awarded a further £320,000 over the next four years as a continuation of its NPO funding.