The Ambition for Excellence fund supports organisations and partnerships with production, commissioning or creative development projects. A total of £35.2m has been made available through the fund from May 2015 to the end of March 2018 with approximately £19m allocated so far to 38 projects including the latest three.

ACE said it is striving for 80-90 per cent of the fund to be committed to projects outside London, to support its target that a minimum of 75 per cent of Lottery funding is committed outside the capital by 2018.

“These awards will develop work of exceptional quality across the country while building the strong networks necessary to continue and amplify that work over time,” said Alison Clark, National Director, Combined Arts & Programme Lead, Ambition for Excellence, ACE.  “We’re pleased to see the creative case boldly written through these programmes; it’s an essential factor in supporting the growth of an exciting and diverse arts sector.”

This year sees Hull celebrate its tenure as UK City of Culture 2017 and through the Ambition for Excellence fund Hull Culture and Leisure has been awarded £547,400 for its Surroundings project.

Surroundings is a programme produced by the Humber Museums Partnership in partnership with arts and science organisation Invisible Dust. Launching later this year the programme will include international public art commissions with an environmental theme, a young curator’s project, residencies and exhibitions. A total of 16 museums across Hull, East Riding and North Lincolnshire will work together to attract high quality contemporary artists, skilled curators, and more diverse audiences.

The Wysing Arts Centre in Cambridge, which chairs and co-ordinates The East Contemporary Visual Arts Network, has been awarded £600,000 for its New Geographies of the East project that will celebrate 10 different places in the East of England through the creation of new contemporary art works. Artists will work closely with local communities, placing them at the heart of this project. The three-year programme aims to increase audiences for contemporary art, whilst also supporting the talent development of artists and curators.

Also in Cambridge but with a country-wide reach is the Diverse Actions project from arts centre Cambridge Junction, which has been awarded £498,500. Diverse Actions is an exciting new three-year national talent development programme from Live Art UK. It is dedicated to supporting the ambition, excellence and talent of Black and minority ethnic artists. Led by Cambridge Junction, ‘Diverse Actions’ will help diverse artists to develop and tour new work. It will also help to promote the national discussion around cultural diversity.

The Ambition for Excellence fund is a rolling programme and open for applications until October 2017.

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Main Image

Space-Time Festival. By Mike Cameron courtesy of Wysing Arts Centre