The Arts Council has just released its list of 695 organisations which are set to replace the Council’s previous “regularly funded organisations” portfolio of 849. 110 of these are new. 206 previously “regularly funded organisations” have had all funding cut. The arts in the UK will have around £2 billion of public money spent on them from 2012 to 2015. There will also be increased Lottery funding available in future.

At first glance the changes in the West Midlands broadly appear to continue the shift toward dance and community theatre — and away from non-crafts visual arts and print-based literary arts. Touring theatre and performance festivals appear to have done well overall throughout the West Midlands, reflecting the Council’s strong emphasis for 2012 to 2015 on touring theatre in communities. Fierce Festival, Geese Theatre, Ace Dance and Music, Black Country Touring, Birmingham Dancefest, Live & Local, and Stan’s Cafe, among others, all see increases in funding. Nofit State Community Circus becomes a new RFO for the West Midlands. Birmingham Opera Company has, however, been cut by -11%.


With an initial focus on North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent:—

No mention on the new list of North Staffordshire organisations B Arts (community arts, formerly Beaver Arts), and Rideout (prison arts).

The New Vic Theatre in Newcastle-under-Lyme has its grant cut by -11%

The Buxton Arts Festival gets an increase of +3%, but the Buxton Opera House is cut by -10%

DASH in Shropshire (disability arts) sees its funding cut by -38.8%

Arvon Foundation (runs residential writing centre in Shropshire) is increased by +61.7%

Multistory in West Bromwich (community arts) is cut by -43.9%

Rhubarb Rhubarb in Birmingham (for photographers) is cut by -21.9%, but Manchester’s Redeye Network (also for photographers) gets an increase of +41.8%. No mention on the new list of the Hereford Photography Festival.

Writing West Midlands (the Birmingham Book Festival) becomes a regularly funded organisation — will get £552,000 during 2012-2015 (around £180,000 a year). But Tindal Street Press in Birmingham (publisher of new contemporary fiction in book form) appears to have had all its Arts Council funding cut from 2014. [Correction: they actually didn’t apply for funding for that year, as they hope to be self-funding by then – see comments on this post].

Wolverhampton Arts and Museums Service has had funding increased by +73.3%, and this appears to be destined for Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

No mention on the new list of the strategic Midlands-wide organisations Designer Maker West Midlands, or Birmingham’s Vivid (new-tech arts).

See the full lists for the complete list of new organisations and funding changes.