Arts Council England’s decision regarding National Portfolio funding was announced yesterday and I am very pleased to say that Live & Local was successful in its bid to become part of a new National Portfolio of arts organisations from April 2012 onwards. Our bid was for support for the four county rural touring schemes we currently manage. This means that Arts Council funding for the Live & Local branded schemes in Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire, and for Shindig in Worcestershire, is now secure for the next four years.
Across the entire network the funding level in year one (2012/13) will remain the same as for 2011/12 with small increases in 2013/14 and 2014/15. Although there is little change in overall investment in rural touring in these four counties from previous years, it is nevertheless a significant endorsement of Live & Local in that we will now be a National Portfolio Organisation with all the funding flowing through one organisation rather than three as previously. It is also a significant endorsement of all the hard work of the voluntary Promoters and their groups across the years and of the former Shindig scheme managers at Artservice and of the investment by the local authorities.
Live & Local’s Executive Director, John Laidlaw said “This Arts Council investment is vital in underpinning the work of Live & Local and all the volunteer groups for the next four years. It will enable thousands of people to continue to enjoy top quality arts in over 200 communities across four counties; most of them being smaller rural communities. It is an important part of the cultural life of these communities, involving people of all ages and backgrounds, motivating them to volunteer and get involved with their community. However we still have plenty of challenges ahead to keep our local authority funders on board.”
The Arts Council investment represents about 40% of the company’s turnover and our work is also financially support by Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Worcestershire County Councils along with most of the District Councils in those counties.