Arts Council England has announced its new National Portfolio for 2018-22, with a commitment to shift funding away from the capital.

831 organisations are to receive funding as part of the portfolio, and of a total annual investment of £409 million, £338 million will come from grant-in-aid funding from government while £71 million is from the National Lottery.

There are 183 new entrants in the Arts Council’s National Portfolio, with funding for the first time awarded over a four-year period.

The majority of organisations in the new portfolio have received standstill funding (45.8%) with 8.4% receiving uplifts and 1% receiving reductions.

Nevertheless, there has been an overall increase in the number of visual arts organisations receiving funding, from 121 to 149. This means an increase in total money distributed to visual arts organisations is up from £39,005,136 in 17/18, to £44,511,273 in 18/19.

Amongst the organisations joining the portfolio are A Space Arts in Southampton, Art Gene Limited in Barrow-in-Furness, Backlit in Nottingham, Chapel Arts Studios in Andover, Creative Foundation in Folkestone, KARST in Plymouth, Grand Union in Birmingham, Disability Arts Online in Brighton, Invisible Dust in Scarborough, Jerwood Gallery in Hastings and the International Curators Forum (London), currently hosting the Diaspora Pavilion in Venice.

A number of large visual arts organisations will continue to receive funding. These include Baltic in Gateshead, receiving £12,632,000 over the four-year period, Camden Arts Centre (£3,678,692) and the Crafts Council (£10,015,412) in London and Ikon (£4,038,912) in Birmingham.

In addition, amongst the 28 successful recipients for small scale capital awards are South London Gallery, Nottingham Contemporary, Modern Art Oxford, Northern Gallery For Contemporary Art, Focal Point Gallery and Cornubian Arts and Science Trust.

Amongst the organisations ceasing to have NPO status are Arnolfini and Situations in Bristol. However, ACE says it is ring fencing over £3 million for the visual arts in Bristol. Other visual arts organisations no longer part of the portfolio include commissioning organisation Locus+ and Plymouth Arts Centre.

In addition, a number of London’s major cultural institutions, including the National Theatre and Southbank Centre have seen their funding cut, with the money diverted to the capital’s outer boroughs.

ACE had commitment to shift lottery funding to 75% outside the capital by 2017-18 and this is reflected in an additional £170 million invested outside London between 2018 and 2022.

Places that will benefit from increased annual investment include Plymouth (£3.99m), Tees Valley (£1.99m), Bradford (£1.77m), Luton (£399,000) and Stoke-on-Trent (£255,000). Other areas to receive significant increases in investment include Coventry and Warwickshire, Torbay, Barking and Dagenham and Northumberland.

Overall funding to London in this portfolio will remain at a standstill.

Sir Nicholas Serota, chair of Arts Council England, said: “We set out to deliver a significant increase in our investment outside London. We’ve done that, without detriment to the internationally renowned cultural offer of the capital.

“Alongside continuing support for our great national companies, we’ve funded inventive, pioneering arts organisations and a new range of museums across the country. We’ve also included libraries producing high quality cultural programmes. Working together these organisations will inspire a broader range of young people and audiences across England than ever before.”

A new category in the National portfolio is Strategic Support Organisations (SSOs). Providing support for the sector, these organisations will help ACE fulfil its development role. They will provide organisations with access to expertise and innovation, offering art-form and business development.

Among the new SSOs are Plymouth Culture, providing infrastructure and partnerships for organisations in the city to work together. MeWe Foundation, based in London, will develop business potential for creative individuals and organisations through networking, mentoring, consultancy and investment support.

In addition, a-n will also become an SSO, receiving a conditional offer of £851,016 for 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2022.

Download the full list of National Portfolio Organisations

1. Baltic Playground Project, 2016 exhibition, Baltic, Gateshead. Courtesy: Baltic
2. ‘Gongoozler’ exhibition, installation view, inaugural show at Grand Union, Birmingham, with work by Broomberg & Chanarin, Roderick Buchanan, Ruth Ewan, Josephine Flynn, Will Holder, Christopher Hodson, Kristina Norman, Cai Nyahoe, Elizabeth Price and Jon Wilkes,  27 March – 1 May 2010. Courtesy: Grand Union

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