Today the Arts Council publish details of how they will invest £440 million of strategic funding between 2012 and 2015, including two new programmes for Capital and Touring.
Strategic funding largely comes from the Arts Council’s lottery income, and will be used to complement the £1.04 billion investment in the National Portfolio organisations. The strategic funding will be used to target key areas and seize opportunities – including investment in capital, touring and encouraging private giving.
Strategic funding allows the Arts Council to invest ACE funding in a flexible and targeted way to realise ACE priorities and ambitions for the arts.
The new Arts Council Plan, published today, sets out in more detail how they will use strategic funds to achieve their aims over the next four years as they work towards the 10 year goals. You can read the plan here: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/strategic-funding/grant-programmes/capital/
Strategic funding will be invested in three ways:
Targeted grant programmes
There will be three targeted grant programmes that organisations can apply to. The £180 million Capital programme, focuses on improving existing arts facilities to help organisations become more sustainable and resilient businesses, including increasing their environmental performance. This fund is now open for applications.
The £50 million Catalyst Arts programme, which was announced on September 29, is designed to enable arts organisations to diversify their income streams, attract significantly more funding by increasing their fundraising potential, and help them to develop and explore innovative new approaches to securing private giving. This fund is now open for applications.
The £45 million Touring programme is designed to encourage collaboration between organisations so more people across England experience and are inspired by the arts, particularly in places which rely on touring for much of their arts provision. This fund will open for application on 1 December 2011 and you can find out more information on the ACE website.
Grant commissions are a new way of doing things for the Arts Council. This approach will enable the arts sector to apply to deliver a particular piece of work to a detailed and specific brief given by the Arts Council. These grants will draw on knowledge and expertise from England’s fast growing creative economy to help achieve the Arts Council’s goals and priorities.
A £7.5 million fund will see the Arts Council commission initiatives that increase, widen and sustain audiences and visitors for the arts, museums and libraries. The Audience focus fund opens for applications on 4 November 2011.
An open selection process to find a national provider to continue the development and delivery of the Artsmark scheme is now open for applications.
A fund is also being developed to invest in a small number of areas with low arts attendance and engagement to develop inspiring and sustainable arts and cultural programmes that help get more people involved in the arts. The Creative People and Places programme will launch in early 2012.
General strategic grant programme
In spring 2012 the Arts Council will open a General strategic grant programme, giving organisations the chance to apply to undertake work that helps realise the priorities in Achieving great art for everyone.
ACE aim is for the Arts Council to work alongside our National Portfolio, and other artistic and cultural organisations, to deliver our shared aims and ambitions for the arts. Any National Portfolio organisation that applies will need to show how the activity supported by strategic funding is in addition to its core programme.
These funds will allow arts organisations to continue to develop their work and their resilience over the next three years and to do what we all want to do – to make art to happen and for as many people as possible to be touched by that work.