ACE funding revamp for NPOs

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Arts Council England has announced a major revamp of its funding regime.



Funding agreements for National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) will be lengthened from 3 to 4 years and a new three band structure will mean that larger organisations will have to meet tougher demands on diversity, nurturing new talent, and support for the wider sector.  Smaller NPOs will have their administrative burden reduced, says ACE.


ACE will also create a new category ‘Sector Support Organisations’, covering organisations that offer support services to the arts sector, rather than producing arts and culture themselves.

And for the first time museums and libraries will be part of the Arts Council’s investment portfolio. However, libraries will only be eligible to receive Arts Council funding for the arts and museums activity, with local councils still responsible for funding their statutory work.

ACE chief executive Darren Henley said, These changes will help us build on the progress we’re making towards fulfilling our strategic goals. They will ensure the impact of our investment is far reaching; that we support a wider range of organisations and artists: and that we do more to develop talent, encourage ambition and champion our national creativity.”

New guidance on the changes for NPO applicants details about other ACE funds, including Grants for the Arts and Culture, and strategic funds, will be published in October 2016. The National Portfolio funding portal opens on October 26, with decisions to be announced in June 2017.  In January 2018. new funding programmes will open for Grants for the Arts and Culture and strategic funds.

The changes follow an extensive consultation exercise with over 1,000 people in the arts and culture sector earlier this year through a series of events and briefing sessions across the country, led by research agency ComRes. 

The ComRes Report on the sector consultation and the Arts Council’s recommendations on the investment approach are available on the Arts Council’s website.

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