The Arts Council has seen reductions to Grant in aid of 36% since 2010. The current National portfolio includes 696 organisations, but at this current level of Grant in aid Arts Council England could only support a National portfolio of between 250- 300 organisations in the next investment round. Using National Lottery money will allow many more organisations to join the portfolio. For some organisations this will be the first time that their total grant will be wholly comprised of Lottery funding.

National Lottery money has been used to fund touring and activity with children and young people within the National portfolio since 2012. The Arts Council is continuing this principle and National portfolio organisations funded wholly through Lottery in 2015-18 will be those focusing on touring (more than 50%) or specific types of organisations working with children and young people.

The level of Lottery investment in the portfolio in 2014/15 was £28.3 million per annum. The proposed National portfolio budget for 2015/16 to 2017/18 includes approximately £60 million of National Lottery funding per annum.

The Arts Council invests Grant in aid and Lottery income to achieve its strategy, Great art and culture for everyone. National Lottery funding is distinct from government funding and adds value. Although it does not substitute for government funding, where appropriate it complements government and other programmes, to achieve the greatest possible impact across the whole of the country.

Alan Davey, Chief Executive Arts Council England said: “This is a pragmatic step. Since the National Lottery began these funds have allowed the arts and cultural sector to deal with the challenges of the day. They have restored old arts buildings and created new ones, toured great art, created new jobs and opportunities for young people, given communities a voice and made it possible for arts organisations to plan for the future by developing new sources of income.

“Now, during a tough climate for public funding, they are enabling hundreds more National portfolio organisations to be funded.

“All National portfolio organisations will be treated the same – they’ll all contribute to our shared goals and ambitions for a thriving cultural landscape.

“The biggest proportion of our portfolio funding will still come from Grant in aid, a vital part of the funding model. We believe Lottery funding must only ever play an additional role and grant in aid should always support an infrastructure of great art and culture in this country.”

All organisations in the portfolio will have exactly the same status and relationship with the Arts Council regardless of whether they’re funded by lottery or by Grant in aid. The current criteria are applicable to this funding period only.

Organisations will be welcomed into the portfolio for three years though the Arts Council will only be able to confirm levels of funding for 2015/16. Funding levels for 2016/17 and 17/18 will be subject to the Grant in aid settlement the Arts Council receives.

Final decisions will be announced at 10.00am on 1 July 2014.

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

  • Major partner museums (MPMs) will increase to £21.5 million per annum 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 in the sector at a time of enormous change.

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