Arts Council England’s National Portfolio

I’ve been quiet for a while because busy with a whole range of clients, each of them forging ahead in their ambitions to connect with, grow and diversify their audiences. And it seems to be paying off: nearly all secured the Arts Council England NPO funding that they sought, with several special commendations for the quality of their audience development focus in the applications. Chuffed!


So congratulations to


  • Philharmonia Orchestra – who really deserve recognition for the fab iOrchestra project
  • Derby Theatre – from zero to NPO and even a snippet on the national news about their audience approach, with Mr Will Gompertz himself (co-incidentally my old boss at Tate).
  • Firstsite – Colchester’s visual arts organisation that’s currently doing exciting things with young people through the Circuit project (and a lot more besides!)
  • Kazzum – always pushing the boundaries of relevant and entertaining theatre in unusual spaces for children and young people.
  • Kettles Yard, Cambridge – not just NPO good news but capital grants too, so they can ‘create the facilities, programmes and exhibitions to match’.
  • Wysing Arts Centre near Cambridge, partnering Kettles Yard on the Circuit young people’s project as one strand of their particular focus to support artists
  • Nottingham Contemporary – again the ACE funding for the gallery gives a context for the Circuit young people’s audience development work to take root.


And besides that, how fantastic that issues around funding for the arts made the national news. Almost the status of football (well, maybe), but surely the presence of Tony Hall at the BBC plus the great campaigning by the What Next movement and Sam West with the National Campaign for the Arts profile-raising is stating to have an effect?


So, let’s draw breath before carrying on with the regional imbalance debate to say well done to those organisations who received funding – and that we’ll be looking to them to deliver quality art to the very broadest range of audiences.