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Arts Council England opens five funding streams to application today


Arts Council England are today opening up five funding streams to applications. These include:

- Unlimited, a commissioned grant in partnership with the British Council, Creative Scotland and the Big Lottery Fund
- Cultural destinations, a partnership with VisitEngland, that will develop the relationship between culture and tourism over the next three years
- the £1.3 million Enterprising Libraries project, in partnership with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the British Library
- the new streamlined application process for Grants for the arts
- Exceptional awards to fund projects that make a significant additional contribution to helping the Arts Council deliver great art for everyone

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: “The funds announced today are so important because they can help artists, arts and cultural organisations to demonstrate what arts and culture can really do for this country. From supporting Deaf and disabled artists to make truly innovative art that challenges the public’s perception of disability, to demonstrating how public libraries can play a huge role in supporting their local economies, the arts are truly transformative.”


Arts Council England will be investing £1.5 million into a new Unlimited programme to be delivered by one national delivery partner from 2013 to 2016.

The new Unlimited programme will build on the success of the Unlimited programme that took place during the Cultural Olympiad, placing Deaf and disabled artists at the heart of artistic commissions, enabling them to create and present work, inspire new collaborations across the sector, and provide support to emerging artists.

Over 300,000 went to see Unlimited projects up and down the country, with a further 100,000 attending the Unlimited Festival at the Southbank Centre. One of the artists, Kaite O’Reilly, said: “My Unlimited commission was an astonishing opportunity. It allowed me the time and freedom to create an ambitious body of work that continues to grow and evolve to this day. I would encourage every artist to apply - it can be career-changing.”

The Arts Council is in negotiation with Creative Scotland, the British Council and the Big Lottery Fund over further investment which will extend the programme into the rest of the UK and internationally, provide a deeper engagement with audiences, and enable participation in related activities for non-established artists.

Enterprising Libraries

The Arts Council is investing £300,000 towards a new £1.3 million partnership with DCLG (who are providing £600,000) and the British Library (who are providing £367,000). These funds will build the potential of libraries to bring communities together and be the catalysts of local economic growth and enterprise, supporting stronger, more integrated communities by improving social mobility in local areas.

The British Library has developed a successful model on this basis – the Business & IP Centre in London – which supports small businesses and entrepreneurs, and which is being extended to six other city libraries across the UK.

The Enterprising Libraries project will enable successful public libraries to develop their own capacity to support local enterprise and entrepreneurship through:

- workshops and seminars
- advice around intellectual property
- networking events
- mentoring and shadowing opportunities
- information resources and online databases

10 awards of a maximum of £45,000 each are available. More information on how to apply can be found here:

Cultural destinations

The Arts Council is investing £3 million into Cultural destinations, an initiative which enable arts and culture organisations working in partnership with Destination Organisations to increase their reach, engagement and resilience by working with the tourism sector. Closer working between the two sectors will contribute to the economic growth of the cultural and tourism visitor economies.

The programme forms part of the three-year partnership between the Arts Council and VisitEngland. More information on how to apply can be found here.

James Berresford, Chief Executive, VisitEngland, said: “A strong cultural offering in destinations around England will certainly help to boost domestic and international tourism, will stimulate local economies, and provide visitors with world class cultural experiences, ultimately strengthening England’s reputation as one of the greatest cultural destinations in the world. VisitEngland’s marketing strategy fully supports the cultural sector through a variety of campaigns aimed at inspiring visitors to make the most of this country’s fantastic arts and music scene. We believe in the value of cultural tourism and this partnership with Arts Council England certainly demonstrates the legacy for tourism following a bonanza year of cultural events in 2012.”

Other funding streams

The changes to the Grants for the arts application process are now live as of today, and more information on the Exceptional awards can be found on the Arts Council website.

Notes to Editors:

- Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2010 and 2015, we will invest £1.9 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1.1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.
- The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We are a Royal Charter charity, established as the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. Our 7000 staff in over 100 countries work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year through English, arts, education and society programmes. We earn over 75% of our annual turnover of nearly £700 million from services which customers pay for, education and development contracts we bid for and from partnerships. A UK Government grant provides the remaining 25%. We match every £1 of core public funding with over £3 earned in pursuit of our charitable purpose. For more information, please visit: or call our Press Office on +44 (0)20 7389 4268. You can also keep in touch with the British Council through and

- Creative Scotland is the national development agency for the arts, screen and creative industries.
- The Big Lottery Fund, the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery. The Fund is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since its inception in 2004 BIG has awarded close to £6bn. The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006. Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £30 billion has now been raised and more than 400,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.

- The Department for Communities and Local Government works to move decision-making power from central government to local councils. This helps put communities in charge of planning, increases accountability and helps citizens to see how their money is being spent. The Department is responsible for: supporting local government by giving them the power to act for their community - without interference from central government; helping communities and neighbourhoods to solve their own problems so neighbourhoods are strong, attractive and thriving; working with local enterprise partnerships and enterprise zones to help the private sector grow; making the planning system work more efficiently and effectively; supporting local fire and rescue authorities so that they’re able to respond to emergencies and reduce the number and impact of fires

- The British Library is the national library of the UK and one of the world’s greatest libraries. The Business & IP Centre, based at St Pancras in London, opened in March 2006 with the help of London Development Agency funding. Since then, it has welcomed over 350,000 people through the doors and has an excellent track record in supporting entrepreneurs and SMEs from all walks of life to start and grow businesses. The Centre provides free access to an unparalleled resource of business and intellectual property information (over £5 million worth), supplemented by one-to-one advice clinics, practical workshops and networking events, featuring ‘role model’ entrepreneurs.

- VisitEngland is the country’s national tourist board. We work in partnership with the industry to develop the visitor experience across England, plan national tourism strategy, grow the value of tourism in England and provide advocacy for the industry and our visitors. Our work is underpinned by robust research and customer insights. You can access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics on For more information, visit or


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