Birmingham arts and cultural organisations are set to receive millions of pounds to support them over three years from Birmingham City Council.
The council proposes revenue funding grants totalling £2,976,151 per annum over the next three financial years (2023-26) to support the arts sector and cultural activities and it is set to be approved by the council cabinet next week (March 21).
This funding will cover arts organisations in receipt of National Portfolio Funding from Arts Council England (ACE) helping them plan for a sustainable future in challenging times.
The ACE supports nine of these organisations investing approximately £33m annually and “the city council’s funding is an important consideration for ACE in their continued investment in Birmingham’s cultural infrastructure”, according to the report.
The report added: “The council’s revenue funded organisations managed to contend with the impact of the Pandemic, mainly through a combination of continued revenue support from the Council and wider Public Sector including the Arts Council England’s Cultural Recovery Fund, the Governments staff furlough scheme, Commissioning of Cultural Activities 2023-26 Page 3 of 8 business rates and charitable relief. But many had to draw on their operational reserves which has no doubt weakened their financial security.”
For the period of 2023-26, the council funding includes grants totalling £2,488,270 per year to 10 arts organisations – including £58,560 for The Legacy Centre in Aston, which has been funded by an annual revenue precept from the sale of The Drum building, which the Legacy Centre now own.
The Local Arts Development will receive funding totalling £487,881 per annum which contains commissioning for annual cultural events such as Birmingham Heritage Week and Black History Month.
Smaller Birmingham-based arts organisations will be commissioned to deliver projects for people with fewer opportunities to engage with culture, such as Culture On Our Doorstep for adults in their local communities, Next Generation for younger people and Cultural Leadership, including for residents from a culturally diverse background.
Organisations that will receive the funds:
- City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
- Birmingham Royal Ballet;
- Birmingham Repertory Theatre
- B:Music (previously known as Performances Birmingham Ltd)
- Birmingham Opera Company
- Ex Cathedra
- FABRIC (formerly DanceXchange)
- IKON Gallery
- The Legacy Centre in Aston
What Birmingham City Council said
Cllr Jayne Francis, Cabinet Member for Digital, Culture, Heritage and Tourism, said: “It is vital that we invest in the city’s cultural offer alongside organisations such as the Arts Council, ensuring cultural activities are accessible and relevant to everyone.
“This is a golden decade of opportunity for the city and we are enabling Birmingham’s world-class arts sector to capitalise on that, by putting the talent in our city on a national and global stage.
“Along supporting internationally known arts organisations and venues, this funding also supports local initiatives aimed at harnessing the power of culture to bring people together to celebrate the culture, heritage and stories of our city’s diverse communities.”