a-n has secured funding as part of Arts Council England‘s 2018-22 National Portfolio, becoming an ACE Sector Support Organisation (SSO) – a new category introduced for this latest funding round.

With the funding period extended from three to four years, a-n has received a conditional offer of £851,016 for 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2022. ACE is investing a total annual budget of £409 million Grant in Aid and National Lottery in 831 organisations.

a-n Executive Director Jeanie Scott said: “We’re delighted Arts Council England is continuing its support of our programmes in England.

“We’ve an ambitious forward plan including a bold new advocacy strategy, exciting new development programmes and resources, as well as new international initiatives and research projects. We’re really looking forward to getting started.”

ACE funding currently accounts for around 20% of a-n’s income.

“We’ve been working hard to strengthen our core business in the last few years to make our public investment stretch further,” said Scott. “a-n is in a really strong place. With our membership growing 7% in the last 12 months to well over 21,000, this investment by ACE means we can develop the reach of our programmes, and bring increased benefits to the visual arts sector.”

Jayne Knight, chair of a-n’s board of trustees, said: “a-n has been supporting and advocating for artists for 38 years – we’re strong financially and reputationally, and have a growing and loyal membership of over 21,000 members. We are delighted that Arts Council England recognizes and values our strategic role. This is a great time to join a-n.”

ACE defines an SSO as an organisation that focuses on offering support services to the sector. ACE has introduced the new category in order to gather support organisations within one programme and to better provide an overview of their value to the sector.

Artist and a-n board member Dan Thompson said: “ACE’s recognition of a-n is a recognition of the importance of the 21,000 fellow artists who are now members. The creative industries are a huge national success, and artists are vital to that economy.”

a-n Assembly Liverpool with Emma Curd speaking at The Royal Standard about the exhibition ‘The Thinking Business’, May 2017. Photo: Rachel Brewster

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