COVENTRY’S arts and culture organisations have been awarded £7.4 million funding from Arts Council England.
The arts council has announced its new raft of National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) – providing them with the necessary funding and support to ensure they can deliver art and culture in their areas.
Coventry has received £7.4 million of funding to be spent over the next four years, which is the largest investment from the arts council in the city’s history.
Warwick Arts Centre, Belgrade Theatre and Talking Birds have had renewed support, while Culture Coventry and Open Theatre have been named as new NPOs.
The awards have received support from Coventry City Council, which has invested in the sustainability of the city’s art sector and Coventry City of Culture Trust’s projects.
There is also good news for independent theatre studio China Plate which has been awarded NPO and will continue to work closely with Warwick Arts Centre as long-term associate producers.
This is in addition to 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.
“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.”
Richard Hayhow, who runs Open Theatre, 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.”