Birmingham arts groups get £27m in Arts Council of England levelling up funds as London faces big cuts

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Birmingham Royal Ballet is the biggest Arts Council of England beneficiary which is set to receive over £8m

From writing to ballet, film to children’s theatre, Birmingham arts organisations will receive almost £27 million in a “levelling up” of funding which sees London groups facing big cuts.

The Arts Council England has been transparent about its drive to spread money more widely across the country in its 2023-26 investment programme.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The shake-up is driven by a 10 year strategy to shift the concentration of cash from London to other regions. Recipients were revealed on Friday (November 4), and 43 Birmingham-based groups were promised £26,534,514 between them.

Some organisations have inevitably been left disappointed and taken to drastic measures to ensure their longevity. The English National Opera has announced it will move its headquarters outside of London, possibly to Manchester, after finding out it will lose £12.6million in core annual grant money. The Southbank Centre will lose out on £1.9million and the National Theatre £850,000.

Which arts groups have recieved the most funding in Birmingham?

By far the biggest amount of money to be awarded in Birmingham is to the Birmingham Royal Ballet who will receive just over £8 million, followed by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra who will get just over £2 million.

But some smaller and newer organisations have also been successful, including the black-led MAIA arts group who will get £273,600.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Arts Council money is a combination of public funds and money generated through the National Lottery. But like many other areas of the public sector, the arts have been subjected to big cuts of around 35% between 2010 and 2020, a trend which doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

Mathias Dingman and Miki Mizutani Birmingham Royal Ballet Forgotten Land for Into the Music triple billMathias Dingman and Miki Mizutani Birmingham Royal Ballet Forgotten Land for Into the Music triple bill
Mathias Dingman and Miki Mizutani Birmingham Royal Ballet Forgotten Land for Into the Music triple bill | Birmingham Royal Ballet

How was the funding decided?

Last May the government undertook a review of public bodies; then Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency Jacob Rees-Mogg said:  “Taxpayer’s money should be spent efficiently and on worthwhile areas. It’s right, then, that we should always look at public organisations and whether they are delivering for the British people.”

More recently, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has indicated that there are more cuts to come. Regarding today’s Arts Culture funding announcement, Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan said: “Thanks to this new government funding package, spreading more money to more communities than ever before, people living in areas from Wolverhampton to Wigan and Crawley to Chesterfield will now get to benefit from the deep economic and social rewards culture can bring.

“We continue to support our icons such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Royal Shakespeare Company, but today’s announcement will see organisations in places all too often overlooked get the support they need to transform access to the arts for everyone – no matter where they live.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.