Culture Liverpool has been made a National Portfolio Organisation by the Arts Council as the national body announces a 14% increase in funding across Merseyside over the next four years.
It means the city council’s culture team will receive £250,000 regular annual ACE funding per year from 2018-22 – 2018 is the 10th anniversary of Capital of Culture year.
It is joined by Sound City, which has celebrated its 10th anniversary THIS year, and also for the first time by the Royal Court theatre which has previously received capital grants from the Arts Council to redevelop the Art Deco building.
Sound City will receive £800,000 over four years, while the Royal Court will get £900,000 over the same period.
The Reader, based at Calderstones Mansion, is another new addition to the Portfolio announced today, being funded to the tune of £175,000 per year. Arts Council bosses say it represents the strength of literature in the North.
And Toxteth-based 20 Stories High receives increased investment over the next four years to help with talent development and retention. The funding is part of the Art Council’s drive to support young diverse theatre makers.
She's Leaving Home by 20 Stories High (photo Gareth Jones)
Above: Royal Court Theatre (photo by Tim Soar)
Homotopia and Open Eye Gallery will also see an increase in their annual funding – the latter so it can deliver the LOOK International Photography Festival.
In all, the Arts Council is investing £38,363,716 in 24 Merseyside organisations over the next four years from April 2018.
Other newcomers to the regularly-funded Portfolio are World of Glass in St Helens, and the town’s Libraries Service.
The other Merseyside NPOs are the Everyman and Playhouse, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, FACT, The Black-E, Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, Milap Festival Trust, Pagoda Arts, Africa Oye, DaDaFest, the Bluecoat, Collective Encounters, Unity Theatre, Wired Aerial Theatre and Writing on the Wall.
Royal Court executive producer Kevin Fearon said today: “This announcement a huge landmark for us. When we first got here in 2005 the building wasn’t in great shape and, as much as people enjoyed coming here for gigs, they remembered their feet sticking to the floor and drinking warm cans of beer from the bar.
"We wanted to keep that amazing night out feeling but make the building a much nicer place for people to come. That first production of Brick Up showed that there was a whole new audience out there who wanted to come out for a great night out and we wanted to give them somewhere that they could really enjoy.
“We've been described as mouthy outsiders and noisy neighbours. But this recognition by Arts Council England means that we will now be able to come to the table with other Liverpool venues when it comes to planning the future of culture in this city. We're looking forward to it!”
Jane Beardsworth, the Arts Council’s North Director said: “We’re delighted to be able to support such a range of excellent arts and cultural activities across Merseyside. The city region continues to place great value on the benefits culture brings to communities and to the economy – and that underpins the strength of our partnerships locally.
“This investment demonstrates that Merseyside’s cultural sector continues to be ambitious, innovative and deliver great work for audiences 10 years on from Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture.”