In the latest round of ACE’s Ambition for Excellence awards the Corn Exchange, Newbury has received £747,250, Liverpool City Council, £750,000 the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, London, £498,555 and Pop Up Projects, South East, £341,88.

The Ambition for Excellence fund supports work that goes beyond an organisation’s core activity, in terms of scale, practice or range of collaborators and ACE say it should lead to a clearly identified step-change on practice or place and provide a legacy for both.

The geographical focus is designed to support the Arts Council’s intent to ensure that a minimum of 75 per cent of lottery funding is committed outside London. For this particular fund, ACE is aiming for 80–90 per cent to be committed outside London.

“This round of awards will have a significant impact on artistic activities that huge numbers of people will get to experience, and will provide exceptional opportunities for emerging and established artists to make work in new places or in new formats,” said Alison Clark, National Director, Combined Arts & Programme Lead, Ambition for Excellence, Arts Council England. “One of the key aims of this funding programme is to ensure long term development of ambitious art production and these projects are fantastic examples of that.”

Below are the project descriptions for the four successful applications:

Corn Exchange (Newbury) Trust, South East, £747,250

With the support of £747,250 funding, Corn Exchange will embark on an ambitious new programme of activity for 101 – the UK’s principal centre for the creation of outdoor arts. As well as developing the range of facilities at 101, the funding will also provide essential talent and skills development opportunities, alongside a series of residencies. The work will help to create a significant change in the level of support available to outdoor artists in the UK.

Pop Up Projects, South East, £341,883

With the support of £341,883 funding, Pop Up Projects will create a new international exchange mentoring scheme designed to help expand diversity and translation in children’s illustration and comics publishing. It will see some of the very best illustrators in the Baltic States and the UK supporting talented young visual artists develop new graphic stories that will be professionally published for London Book Fair 2018.

Liverpool City Council, North, £750,000

Culture Liverpool be using the £750,000 investment to commission Heading for Home. This major commissioning programme involving world renowned artists and home grown creative talent will be announced in mid-March.

Jerwood Charitable Foundation, London, £498,555

With support of £498,555 from Ambition for Excellence, Jerwood Charitable Foundation will enter a new, ambitious phase of work by significantly scaling up the reach and impact of its talent and diversity development programme, the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries. Working with new delivery partners including the British Council, it will create a peer network of 40 organisations and 40 talented graduates from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds across the UK, investing in their creative and leadership potential through national and international training and residency opportunities.

Expressions of interest can be submitted any time until 5pm, 27 October 2017.

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Aims of Ambition for Excellence

  • to achieve step-change impact on the sector, practice or place
  • develop ambition, excellence, talent and leadership across ecologies and/or places
  • to further enable contribution to the Creative case for diversity – enriching the arts for artists, audiences and our wider society
  • to increase the quality and range of arts commissioning partnerships, including internationally, and in festival or outdoor contexts
  • to allow the sector to respond ambitiously to compelling or timely opportunities
  • to bring the best of culture to new or larger audiences, including by digital capture