LEDBURY Poetry Festival joins the Courtyard and 2Faced dance company in secured six figures worth of arts council funding over the next three years.

This morning, Arts Council England (ACE) confirmed that the festival had secured £159,198 in funding or £53,066 a year between 2015-18.

Earlier this morning ACE confirmed that Courtyard and 2Faced had together secured more than £1.2m over the next three years as national portfolio organisations.

The Courtyard’s funding is worth £636,000 and that for 2Faced £576,000.
Cash is also coming to Arts Alive in Shropshire and Herefordshire - £176,343 or £58,781 over three years.

All told the four organisations active in the county get £1.5million from April next year.

The majority of organisations in the new portfolio programme have received standstill funding.

2Faced made an exceptional case for increased funding to receive the eighth highest uplift in the UK.

Funding for the other National Portfolio Organisations in the county will stay at present levels.

Nationally, the budget available from ACE budget reduced by 3.8% a year, despite a reduction of 36% in grant in aid from government since 2010.

This has been achieved by using lottery money to fund an additional number of organisations, but sustaining the national portfolio in this way means that there will be a significant reduction to the ACE’s strategic funds, the focus for which has shifted beyond London.

Peter Phillips, Chairman of the Midlands Area Council, said: “The Midlands has an ambitious and exciting cultural offer. It’s home to a great number of organisations and artists that produce world-class work for audiences to enjoy and we’re committed to maintaining this thriving cultural scene.

"Our Area Council is made up of leaders from arts, culture, and business and elected local councillors from across the Midlands. Because there were so many good applications we faced a difficult task of making the funding recommendations you are seeing today but we’re proud of the portfolio and hope it will help us achieve our goal of getting great art to everyone.

“The National Portfolio is just one of the ways the Arts Council invests in and supports the country’s cultural sector. Alongside this new portfolio we’ll continue to work with artists and arts organisations across the Midlands to offer investment through our Grants for the arts and Strategic funding programmes.”

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “We are investing in an exciting and varied portfolio of organisations and all of them help us to achieve our aim of great art and culture for everyone. The quality and range of these organisations reflects the wealth of creative talent we have here.

“At a time of significant economic challenge I’m pleased that we have been able to maintain existing levels of funding for many organisations to consolidate and build on their excellent work. We couldn’t fund everyone, but it is very positive that we have been able to introduce four new arts organisations and two new museums to our funded portfolio, all of which will bring something relevant, different and stimulating to the terrific arts and culture offer we enjoy across the Midlands.”