York’s cultural sector celebrates Arts Council funding

York’s cultural sector celebrates Arts Council funding

York Theatre Royal, Pilot Theatre, York Museums Trust and the National Centre for Early Music have all been awarded National Portfolio Organisation status 2018-22.

Make It York, the city’s Destination Management Organisation, is thrilled that four key cultural organisations across the city have been successful in their applications to Arts Council England (ACE) to become National Portfolio Organisations 2018-22. 

The total funding awarded covers projects which will inspire community groups to get involved in theatre, music and the arts, as well as cementing York’s stature as a key city destination to visit for its superb arts, exhibitions and cultural programmes.

NPOs are companies which receive a share of £409m each from Arts Council England between 2018-22 and 2017 was the first year that museums and libraries could apply for funding as well as arts organisations. 

There are now 831 organisations across the UK in the portfolio, up by 183 and just over 60% of funding is now based outside of London, up from 55.8% in 2015-18. 

Steve Brown, managing director of Make It York, has hailed this as a brilliant coup for the city.  He said: “This is absolutely brilliant news for York.

"In 2017 we launched the city’s very first York Culture Awards with the intention of celebrating and galvanising the collective achievements of York’s cultural sector.

"This new funding means we’ll have even more to celebrate this year and beyond as our city’s cultural organisations are able to use this funding to make new initiatives happen.”

For York Theatre Royal, a four year funding period will offer the organisation just over £587,000 a year – a total grant of £2,349,016. 

The theatre is already a National Portfolio Organisation for 2015-18 and this new grant allows it to continue to fulfil its mission and inspire its community through the creative arts. 

The chief executive of York Theatre Royal, Liz Wilson, said: “It is just over a year since we reopened our doors following our major multi-million pound transformation, and we have just celebrated one of the most memorable years to date. 

"This award allows us to make sure the next four years will be just as inspiring. Much of our produced work will be developed in partnership with theatre producing companies from across the country and we will continue to welcome the UK’s best touring companies as well as supporting new and emerging artists.” 

Pilot Theatre, the national and international touring theatre company, based in York, received an award of £1.3m over four years.

Their vision is to produce work that sparks passion and ignites debate across the globe through performances and digital networks. 

Pilot creates pioneering contemporary work celebrating diversity in all its forms with particular relevance to young people and the issues they face in their lives. 

Based at York Theatre Royal, they are one of very few national touring mid-scale companies to be based outside London and are therefore able to offer unique training and work opportunities for artists and young people in mid-scale touring that they may be unable to get anywhere else in the region.

York Museums Trust has been successful in securing £4.9m of Arts Council England funding over the next four years. The Trust will also receive £1.35m over four years to continue as a Museum Development Sector Support Organisation, which offers expertise and advice to other museums in the region. The National Portfolio Organisation funding will be for the period from 2018 until 2022.

Reyahn King, chief executive of York Museums Trust, said: “We are delighted that the Arts Council has backed our vision for the Trust for the next four years.

"The guarantee of £1.23m a year will allow the Trust to continue to effectively plan and deliver a wide range of high profile exhibitions events and activities designed to engage with larger and more diverse audiences.

“These headline events will be supported by a rich programme of learning events for adults, children and families to enjoy and be inspired by the collections we look after. 

“The Arts Council have also granted the Trust £1.3m over four years to continue as a Museum Development Sector Support Organisation.

"This will enable us to work closely with other museums in the region to ensure they receive the advice and expertise needed to help them develop and thrive.”

The National Centre for Early Music (NCEM) based at St Margaret's Church, York, has been awarded a grant of £270,467 a year for the next four years to continue to support artistic excellence in early music; support the development of young talented professionals and to encourage people from all walks of life to experience and be inspired by early music in particular, alongside many other musical genres including world, jazz and folk.

It will continue to run its three flagship Early Music Festivals in Yorkshire: the York Early Music Festival, the Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival and the York Early Music Christmas Festival and two major competitions – the York Early Music International Young Artists Competition and the NCEM Young Composers Award supported by BBC Radio 3.  

Arts Council England rated the NCEM as ‘outstanding’ and ‘strong’ in all categories.

NCEM’s director, Delma Tomlin, was thrilled to be included in the Arts Council’s NPO portfolio for the next 4 years. She added: “We are a small and hard-working team, dedicated to bringing arts to everyone and ensuring high quality and enjoyable experiences.

“We have some very exciting and ambitious plans over the next few years and will continue to build on the fantastic work we do for people of all ages, from different backgrounds and ability in music. Our stunning medieval church provides the perfect setting for us to enjoy music."

Pilot Theatre, York Theatre Royal, the National Centre for Early Music and York Museums Trust are four of 831 successful organisations sharing a total of £409m every year between 2018-22 to support arts and cultural activity across England. This includes £341m of grant-in-aid and £68m of National Lottery funding.