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ACE Announces Investment Plans for 2015-2018

2 July 2014

The Arts Council England (ACE) has announced its funding and investment plans for the next three years.

The ACE’s new national portfolio covers a total of 670 arts organisations, down from 696. While 58 organisations will lose funding altogether, 46 new entrants to the portfolio will receive financial support over the next few years.

One of these new entrants is the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO), which will benefit from £125,000 of funding a year for the next three years. Executive chairman of NYJO Nigel Tully welcomed the ‘fantastic news’, commenting: ‘This is crucial recognition of NYJO’s development over the recent years and its increasing artistic and educational profile. NYJO will now work enthusiastically on increasing our activity and implementing our plans – to be an evangelist for jazz and to have a greater role in the musical and cultural life of the nation.’

For the most part, organisations supported by the ACE in previous years will receive standstill funding. Performing groups in this category include the LSO, Hallé, CBSO, London Sinfionietta, BCMG, BSO, LPO, Philharmonia, OAE, Sinfonia Viva, and Manchester Camerata, as well as organisations such as Music in the Round, the National Opera Studio, British Youth Opera, classical producer SoundUK, the Tête à Tête opera festival, Streetwise Opera, and Wiltshire Music Centre.

Organisations that will see a drop in their funding include the National Centre for Early Music, the Southbank Centre and Orchestras Live. Particularly hard-hit organisations are the Barbican Centre, which will be hit by a decrease of 20%, and the English National Opera, which will suffer cuts of roughly one third.

Those benefitting from an increase in funding include the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Spitalfields Music, and the Aurora Orchestra.

ACE chief executive Alan Daley wrote yesterday: ‘Choices become particularly hard when your starting point is an existing portfolio that was carefully selected in the first place, and which contains so much outstanding quality.The Arts Council’s Grant-in-Aid budget has been cut by 36 per cent in real terms since 2010. We’ve had some mitigation from the Lottery ‒ and thank goodness for that ‒ with an increased share granted by the Government. But this has been countered by the blow of local government cuts outside London. These have and will challenge the whole funding model for culture, which depends on a real local-national partnership for its effectiveness. We have tried to ensure some degree of stability ‒ and we’ll need to work with our funding partners see what more we can do.’

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