ACE hands out £33m in emergency funding

Arts Council England has given out £33m to help National Portfolio Organisations stay afloat after the Covid-19 lockdown, part of the £160m emergency response fund launched in March.

A total of 196 organisations are to benefit with grants of from £12,000 to £1.3m to keep them going until the end of September - some organisations have not got funding  in the programme, not because they are not facing long-term financial challenges but because they were not able to demonstrate they needed urgent funding before the end of September.

“Since the outbreak of Covid-19, our main priority has been to ensure that as much of our country’s cultural ecology as possible survives the summer – from individual artists and freelancers, to museums, libraries and arts organisations, both large and small, located in every corner of the country” said Darren Henley, ACE’s CEO. “This investment, made possible thanks to National Lottery players, provides critical relief to valued cultural organisations that faced immediate financial disaster before September. We know that massive challenges remain in the autumn, and we'll use the rest of our available funds, alongside the government funding just announced, to support our sector in the coming months.”

The announcement comes a day after the government revealed a £1.57bn rescue package for the creative industries.

The emergency rescue package has already disbursed £69m to 10,000 small organisations and individuals, but the NPOs in this package are seen as key parts of the cultural ecology. Among those receiving grants this time are Circomedia (£77,000), Battersea Arts Centre (£598,000), Cheltenham Festivals (£204,00), Whitechapel Gallery (£150,000), the Lowry Centre (1,292,000) and Milton Keynes Arts Centre (£45,000). Full details can be found here.

Alongside this emergency fund, support for NPOs and Creative People and Places continues allowing them to receive funding with funding conditions relaxed and providing advance grant payments to relieve financial pressure. The next National Portfolio investment process is being postponed so that the current National Portfolio will roll over for one year, to 31 March 2023. Last week ACE announced the reopening of National Lottery Project Grants this July, with a budget of £59.8 million.


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