Arts Council’s funding for 2012-2015 announced

The Arts Council has released its list of 695 organisations which are set to replace the Council’s previous “regularly funded organisations” portfolio of 849. 110 of these are new. 206 previously “regularly funded organisations” have had all funding cut. The arts in the UK will have around £2  billion of public money spent on them from 2012 to 2015. There will also be increased Lottery funding in future.

At first glance the changes announced today broadly appear to reflect the Council’s policy shift of the last few years, away from non-crafts visual arts and print-based literary arts and toward dance and performance. Touring theatre and performance festivals have overall done well throughout the West Midlands, reflecting the Council’s strong emphasis for 2012 to 2015 on touring theatre and dance groups with a base in Birmingham. Fierce! Festival, Geese Theatre, Ace Dance and Music, Black Country Touring, Birmingham Dancefest, Live & Local, and Stan’s Cafe, among others, all see increases in funding. Nofit State Community Circus becomes a new RFO for the West Midlands. Possibly some of this new/increased activity may reach North Staffordshire.

No mention on the new list of North Staffordshire organisations B Arts (community arts, formerly Beaver Arts), and Rideout (prison arts).

The New Vic Theatre in Newcastle-under-Lyme has its grant cut by -11%

The Buxton Arts Festival gets an increase of +3%, but the Buxton Opera House is cut by -10%

Cheshire Dance is cut by -11%, but Cheshire Rural Touring (theatre) is increased by +77.9%

DASH in Shropshire (disability arts) sees its funding cut by -38.8%

Arvon Foundation (runs a commercial residential writing centre in Shropshire) is increased by +61.7%

High Peak Community Arts is cut by -11%

The Derby Quad (major new arts centre) gets a +3% increase.

Multistory in West Bromwich (community arts) is cut by -43.9%

Rhubarb Rhubarb in Birmingham (for photographers) is cut by -21.9%, but Manchester’s Redeye Network (also for photographers) gets an increase of +41.8%. No mention on the new list of the Hereford Photography Festival down at the other end of the West Midlands.

Writing West Midlands (the Birmingham Book Festival) becomes a regularly funded organisation — it will get £552,000 during 2012-2015 (around £180,000 a year).

Wolverhampton Arts and Museums Service has had funding increased by +73.3%, and this appears to be destined for Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

No mention of Foursight Theatre (women’s theatre) in Wolverhampton.

No mention on the new list of the strategic Midlands-wide organisations Designer Maker West Midlands, or Birmingham’s Vivid (new-tech arts).


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