Arts Council England
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The National portfolio and Major partner museum application process is now open for 2015 – 2018

Today we open the application process for our national portfolio of arts organisations and museums for 2015 to 2018. At the same time, we are also setting out our overall investment plans for 2015 - 2018, which include Strategic funds, museums development and Grants for the arts.

The National portfolio (including Bridge organisations) and Major partner museum programmes are open to applications from 12pm today. 

Our investment for 2015/16

The arts budget for 2015/16 includes three main funding streams:

  • National portfolio for arts organisations programme budget of £271 million of grant-in-aid and up to £60 million of National Lottery funding
  • an increase to the Grants for the arts budget to £70 million Lottery funding to support individual artists, community and cultural organisations
  • a Strategic fund budget of £127 million to support the wider development of arts organisations, participants and audiences across the England

The museums budget for 2015/16 will also include three main funding streams:

  • Major partner museums (MPM) programme budget of investment 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

Organisations will be welcomed into the portfolio for three years, although we 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 we receive.

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said: 
‘At the heart of this investment strategy is the desire to retain ambition, risk and excellence in the arts and culture sector in the next three years.

‘We’ll support an eclectic range of artists and organisations whose work, in different ways, will be relevant and valued by everyone, everywhere in England. We must keep the sector resilient and ensure art and culture retain their central place in this country’s way of life.’

There is now a 10-week window for the submission of applications, with the guidance becoming available and the application portal opening on 7 January and all applications being submitted by 12pm on 17 March. Final decisions will be announced in July 2014.

Important links and further information

Advice and guidance for National portfolio funding, 2015-18

Advice and guidance for Major partner museum funding, 2015-18

Find out more about our plans for Strategic funds, 2015-18

Find out more about our plans for Grants for the arts, 2015-18

Follow us on Twitter and join the conversation #artsfunding

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