How to Join - click for details

Sign up for our regular website bulletin

Click here and sign up to receive our regular arts news digest by email

Look here for posts about…

ArtsDevUK Partners

Arts Development UK Insurance Scheme - click for details

  a-n The Artists Information Company - click for details

a-n The Artists Information Company

Voluntary Arts - click for details

ACE National Portfolio funding decision announced

ACEACE have announced their new 3 year funding programme. ACE are investing £340 million in the National portfolio each year (based on 2015/16 figures) – and that’s 670 organisations

  • over £22 million will be invested in Major partner museums, with an additional £13 million of annual strategic funding set aside to support museums in England
  • £6 million of additional strategic funding has been allocated to focus on diversity in the sector

The arts budget for 2015-18 includes three main funding streams:

  • National portfolio for arts organisations programme budget of £271m of grant in aid and approximately £60m a year of National Lottery funding. This is more than double the £28.3m a year in lottery money in 2014/15.
  • An increase to the grants for the arts budget to £69.6m lottery funding to support individual artists, community and cultural organisations.
  • A strategic fund budget of £127m lottery funding to support the wider development of arts organisations, participants and audiences across England.

The museums budget for 2015/16 will also include three main grant in aid funding streams:

  • Major partner museums (MPM) will increase to £21.5m a year in 2015/16 to encourage a greater geographical spread
  • In keeping with arts funding, the museums strategic budget will work alongside MPM funding to target particular challenges, opportunities or gaps.
  • For the first time a new open access grants fund will invite applications from museums to support diversity and the development of resilience at a time of change.

The Arts Council has seen reductions to grant in aid of 36% since 2010. The previous 3 year national portfolio funded included 703 organisations. The new national portfolio sees investment of around £1billion in 670 arts organisations from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2018.  46 new organisations have been accepted into the funding programme with 58 leaving. The number of major museum partners rises from 16 to 21.


In the past few years, ACE has shifted the balance of Lottery expenditure, so that 70% of it is now invested outside London. The proposed portfolio also shows an increase of 2% to Grant-in-Aid funding for organisations based outside London. This continues a trend that will see London’s share of Grant-in-Aid funding change from 51% in 2011/12 to 47% in 2015/16. The new portfolio increases investment to the South West, South East, Midlands and North.


The English National Opera gets a 32.7% cut. The Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre get a 6.7% cut. New entrants include the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, Jazz north, Corn Exchange in Newbury and Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures with £1.3m. In terms of money by art form, dance was the biggest winner. It will receive 9.4% more money, while music goes down 4.3%, visual arts down 2.6% and theatre down 0.4%.


ACE’s commitment to children and young people is at the heart of their mission and goals. The new portfolio shows increased dedication to this and contains many organisations producing imaginative work for children and young people. The promotion of Artsmark and Arts Award will be priorities for portfolio organisations. Eight National youth music organisations have been brought into the portfolio, enabling them to work closely with other strands of music education that ACE manage, including the national music education hubs and the In Harmony projects. For more details about the new National Portfolio, click: