Arts Council England announces 2015/16 funding allocation to arts organisations and museums

The funder (Alan Davey, chief executive, pictured) is launching an open-access grants fund for museums and aims to develop resilience in the sector

Alan Davey
Alan Davey

Arts Council England has set out how it will allocate funding totalling £566.8m to arts organisations and museums in 2015/16.

The funder opened its application process for 2015 to 2018 and set out its funding plans for the same period yesterday.

ACE said organisations it funded would receive money over three years, but it was able to confirm funding levels only for the year 2015/16. Funding for the other two years would be subject to ACE’s settlement from the government, it said. 

The arts budget for 2015/16 includes three main funding streams: the national portfolio for arts organisations programme, which includes £271m of grants from the government and about £60m of National Lottery funding; the grants for the arts programme, which is worth £70m and will support individual artists, community and cultural organisations; and the strategic fund, which is worth £127m and will support the wider development of arts organisations, participants and audiences across England.

The museums budget for 2015/16 has three main funding streams. These include the major partner museums programme, which is worth £21.5m, and a strategic fund, worth about £7.3m, to target particular challenges, opportunities or gaps, ACE said.

A new open-access grants fund will be open to applications from museums and will support diversity and developing resilience in the sector, ACE said.

An ACE spokeswoman said the details were being finalised, but the open-access grants fund is expected to be launched this autumn and will make £10m a year available between 2015 and 2018, with grants of between £15,000 and £30,000 available over one to three years.

ACE said the aim of setting out the full set of funding resources available between 2015 and 2018 was to allow organisations to plan for the longer term and consider funding in the context of other opportunities.

Alan Davey, chief executive of Arts Council England, said: "At the heart of this investment strategy is the desire to retain ambition, risk, excellence and reach in the arts and culture sector in the next three years.

"We’ll support a range of artists and organisations whose work, in different ways, will be relevant and valued by everyone, everywhere in England.

"We know that these remain austere times but, together with partners, we must continue to invest in a way that ensures a healthy cultural ecology all over the country."

The deadline for applications for 2015/16 grants is 17 March and final decisions will be announced in July.

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