Art Council England boosts spending on arts and culture in deprived areas
Leeds Museums and Galleries secure £4.8 million in funding
Arts Council England (ACE) said on Friday that deprived areas of England especially the north will enjoy a £43.5 million investment in Levelling up, which backs art, culture, and creativity for more people from disadvantaged backgrounds to access.
“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 Chair Sir Nicholas Serota said at a press briefing.
According to the council the Levelling Up for Culture Places will see a 95% increase in investment, with 78 designated towns and cities receiving £43.5 million annually, for the next three years.
“Thanks to this new government funding package, spreading more money to more communities than ever before, people living in areas from Wolverhampton to Wigan and Crawley to Chesterfield will now get to benefit from the deep economic and social rewards culture can bring.” Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan stated.
Revealing details of its national portfolio organisation for 2023-26, ACE said, there is 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 the renowned Grimm and Co in Rotherham, who nurture children’s creativity and writing.
Chief Executive of ACE Dareen Henley said the 990 organisations offered funding will contribute to a diverse art portfolio that is spread right across England. “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.” He added, fending off critics wondering why the government is spending millions on arts and culture while people are struggling.
Leeds Museums & Galleries in the north of England will receive £1.6 million each year from ACE for the years 2023-26.
The crucial funding will be used to continue to support a number of jobs across the service as well as a programme of audience engagement, programming and improvements to venues planned over the coming years.
The country’s largest local authority run museums service, Leeds Museums and Galleries runs nine venues which collectively welcome more than a million visitors each year.
Among the venues operated by the service are Temple Newsam House, a stunning 500 year-old Tudor-Jacobean Mansion, which recently celebrated a century of public ownership, and Leeds Art Gallery, home to a world class collection of classic and modern art.
The service is also responsible for Kirkstall Abbey, one of England’s best preserved Cistercian monasteries and the Leeds Discovery centre, a state-of-the-art storage facility which is home to more than a million objects, and which welcomes educational visits throughout the year from local schools.
“I’m also delighted to see that Leeds as a whole will see a 34% increase in the value of investment from Arts Council England to organisations based in the city. This is a huge vote of confidence in our cultural sector, the work that they programme and produce and how they engage with our communities. We can’t wait to showcase that amazing talent to the world next year during our Year of Culture, LEEDS 2023.” Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education, said welcoming the ACE funding.
Source ACE/Leeds Arts