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North East arts sector rewarded with £86m of funding from Arts Council England

Forty-six of the region’s cultural organisations receive funding guaranteed from 2018 to 2022, in what is a welcome boost for the region, says the North East Culture Partnership.


The North East Culture Partnership (NECP), the organisation making the Case for Culture in the North East, has today welcomed Arts Council England’s decision to increase funding to the region to £21m a year over four years, but cautioned against complacency.

Matthew Jarratt, Partnership Manager said: “Naturally, we are pleased to see the increase in funding for the North East in what is, on the whole, a good news story for our arts and heritage sectors.

It is notable how local authority support for cultural organisations has been sustained across our region specifically, and we hope that the ongoing commitment to the North East’s Case for Culture by our 12 local authorities has encouraged Arts Council England to make positive investments in the region.

We are especially pleased to see a redressing of the balance in arts funding nationally, with some 60% of funds now being allocated outside of London. We think this is a step forward for the ‘regions’, and the North East specifically, though we also recognise that there is much more to do. We hope that those who may have applied and been unsuccessful can continue to find ways to thrive and contribute to the rich cultural landscape of the North East.”

The funding, which is split across dance, literature, music, museums, theatre, visual arts and combined arts, supports organisations to develop their offer, reach a wider audience and give everyone the chance to access cultural events and activities in their local community.

The NECP is particularly pleased to see:

• An increase in North East’s national portfolio organisations from 36 in the period 2012-2015 to 46 in this 2018-2022 period.
• The museum sector in the North East recognised with a 70.1% increase in their grants on previous years.
• Increased Arts Council England / Heritage Lottery Fund investments in Sunderland, Tees Valley and County Durham as part of the Great Places Scheme.
• The addition of Arts & Heritage, Woodhorn Charitable Trust, The Bowes Museum, Side Gallery, NewBridge Projects, Middlesbrough Town Hall, Tees Valley Museums Group, Association of Cultural Enterprises, National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, and Unfolding Theatre to the National Portfolio.
• Invitation to Sage Gateshead to apply for a large scale capital grant of £1,234,735 to enable fast removal of seats in Sage One, creating a greater capacity for certain events.

Matthew Jarratt continued, “Per head of population, this investment now means c.£32 per person is spent on the culture offer. This means better access for everyone, new places and new people, more diverse programmes, exhibitions and performances and more opportunities for artists, writers, performers.”

A list of all North East organisations who are now part of the National Portfolio can be found at

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