Plymouth at cutting edge of culture nationally with huge funding boost


Plymouth’s vision of powering the regeneration of the city through culture is paying off with £16 million worth of Arts Council funding coming to the city.

The amount of ‘National Portfolio Organisation’ investment from the Arts Council England coming to Plymouth is set to almost double with 10 thriving arts organisations to receive regular funding from 2018 to 2022.

The funding confirms Plymouth as a cultural hot-spot and THE city to watch, with the Arts Council highlighting Britain’s Ocean City as being at the cutting edge of culture and leading the way nationally.

Cabinet Member for Culture Glenn Jordan said: “This is absolutely fantastic news for all these organisations and for the city as a whole.

“We have worked hard to protect the cultural assets and organisations across the city during some pretty challenging times and it is paying dividends. With Mayflower 2020 on the horizon, this level of funding for organisations who are opening up the arts to new audiences is great stuff.”

As the country’s leading regional theatre, Plymouth’s Theatre Royal has maintained its National Portfolio Funding, and the Barbican Theatre has received a significant increase.

The exciting History Centre project (to be launched with a new name in July) will receive £4.1millon over the four years, an increase of £2.6m over the City Museum’s current funding from the Arts Council. Only last week the contract was signed on the flagship project which will transform the old City Museum and Library and nearby St Luke’s Church into a museum and contemporary arts centre of national significance. Major construction work begins this summer, with the centre opening to the public in 2020.

Other projects to receive National Portfolio Investment include the innovative KARST arts organisation, which specialises in cutting-edge contemporary art, Plymouth Culture and also Ocean Studios, managed by arts development organisation, the Real Ideas Organisation. It has studio spaces for over 80 artists, a large gallery space and state-of-the-art facilities for photography, printing and ceramics.

Arts Council England (ACE) awards National Portfolio Organisation status to organisations that create excellent cultural work and open up the arts and museums to new audiences in exciting and engaging ways. It means the organisations will receive four years of regular income from ACE to help fund organisational running costs and develop new projects.

Council leader Ian Bowyer said: “This announcement represents a 40 per cent increase in Plymouth’s funding since the last round with six new organisations now receiving funding.

“On one level it will generate more fantastic events, exhibitions and happenings which are great for the city, great for the people who live here as well as for visitors. And on another level, it means more jobs, more money coming into the city and the all spin-offs cultural events have for the cafes and restaurants, the bars, the taxis and hotels. This is why we continue to support the arts.”

Leader of the opposition Tudor Evans said: “We have all, at times, had to take brave decisions to ensure that Plymouth stays on top of its game in the field of arts and culture. To reach the upper level of funding from a national organisation is awesome.”

For more information about other successful organisations visit www.artscouncil.org.uk