£7.4m Arts Council funding for Coventry

Coventry has been boosted ahead of the UK City of Culture shortlisting as several arts and culture organisations have been awarded key funding status.

Arts Council England has announced its new raft of National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) which means they receive funding and support to help ensure they can deliver art and culture in their areas.

In Coventry, Warwick Arts Centre, Belgrade Theatre and Talking Birds have had renewed support with Culture Coventry and Open Theatre new NPOs for 2018-2022.

In total, Coventry has received £7.4million of Arts Council England funding over the next four years, of which £3.5million is new into the city. This makes the 2018-2022 investment the largest from the Arts Council in the city’s history.

The awards have been helped by Coventry City Council’s investment in the sustainability of the city’s arts sector and the work of Coventry City of Culture Trust who have secured significant funding from the Arts Council and Heritage Lottery Fund.

There is also good news for independent theatre studio China Plate who have also been awarded NPO and will continue to work closely with Warwick Arts Centre as long term Associate Producers along with an increase for Leamington based Motionhouse Dance who helped launch Coventry’s City of Culture bid at Godiva Festival last year.

Laura McMillan, manager of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said:

The increased number of NPOs in Coventry is a fantastic boost not only for the individual organisations but for the whole city.
With the bid to be UK City of Culture and new ten-year Cultural Strategy, art and culture is now at the centre of Coventry’s future. The council, arts & culture organisations, business and education establishments have never been more joined up in the city and that is having a positive impact in attracting national funding and attention.
It’s pleasing to see organisations that have, perhaps gone on under the radar, being recognised and, again, that’s positive news for the city.
We are thrilled for Open Theatre and China Plate as well as our more established venues and organisations in the city that have been successful. Arts Council investment in Culture Coventry is a clear commitment to the world-class Transport Museum and Herbert Art Gallery and Museum.
There are some great things happening in Coventry right now and it feels like it is the city’s time to shine.

Richard Hayhow, who runs Open Theatre – which has a base in Coventry and Birmingham, said:

This makes a huge difference – it means everything. It means we can plan for five years and carry on working with a range of arts organisations in both cities.
This is a major boost for Coventry and its new cultural strategy and it means we can place young people with learning difficulties at the centre rather than in the margins.

Councillor Linda Bigham, Cabinet Member for Community Development, said:

This is wonderful news for Coventry and the new Cultural Strategy. It is great to see those who work so hard recognised and gain the opportunity to continue to provide communities in Coventry the means to express themselves through the arts.

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