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Arts Council England to increase investment in its Levelling Up for Culture Places by 95%


Arts Council England has revealed details of its new national portfolio of funded organisations for 2023-26 with a 95% increase in investment in its Levelling Up for Culture Places. This will see 78 designated towns and cities receive £43.5 million annually, for the next three years. 

Overall, there will be investment in a mix of organisations: from those supported before Royal Opera House and Royal Shakespeare Company to newly supported organisations such as the National Football Museum in Manchester and Gloucestershire Libraries, and Ballet Black, Manchester Collective, Open Sky Theatre, Touretteshero and Stanley Halls.

The investment will include a 20% increase in organisations delivering creative and cultural activity for children and young people including joiners to the portfolio such as Midlands based MISHMASH who introduce pre-schoolers to classical music, and an increase in funding for Grimm and Co in Rotherham, who nurture children’s creativity and writing.

In total, 990 organisations will receive a share of £446 million each year to help more people in more places find art and culture on their doorsteps. 276 are new to Arts Council England support. The funding will benefit arts organisations, museums, and libraries in every corner of the country, with a focus on ensuring that investment is concentrated in places that, historically, have been underserved.

Levelling Up for Culture Places (LUCPs), such as Blackburn with Darwen, North Devon and Mansfield, will receive £43.5 million each year – a 95% increase in investment in these areas.

Talking about the funding, 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.”

Arts Council England Chief Executive, Darren Henley, said:

“Together, each of the 990 organisations that have been offered funding will contribute to a portfolio that is rich, varied and truly national. This is our widest ever spread of investment across the country, ensuring that many more people will have access to a wider choice of exceptional art, culture and creative opportunities on their doorsteps. We are in tough times but we must remember creativity brings with it extraordinary dividends, boosting our country’s economic growth, creating jobs, bringing communities closer together, and making us happier as individuals. Everyone deserves to enjoy the benefits it brings, and with this investment, we believe we’ve taken a decisive step towards making that vision a reality.”

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