No fast ACE return for ENO

But special funding extended.

English National Opera and the Firstsite gallery in Colchester will not return to the Arts Council’s National Portfolio of regularly funded arts organisations before 2018, but their special funding agreements have been extended.

In February both organisations were told they had failed to satisfy conditions of national portfolio membership for NPO status in 2015-18. ENO was given annual special funding of £12.38m year to 2017, and Firstsite of £814,312 to 2016. Both have now even extended to 2018 in view of good progress in, for ENO, making substantial operational changes and restructuring of the financial and operational management, and for Firstsite in improved business operations. They will be reconsidered for return to the national portfolio from 2018.

“I want to ensure we're financially stable, and whether we’re in or out of the portfolio does not really affect that” said Cressida Pollock, appointed CEO of ENO in September, who acknowledged that completing the turn around could take three years. “We’re in a significantly better place than we were, we're very much pulling together now and focused.”

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