ACE puts £1.2m into creative writing in schools

ACE puts £1.2m into creative writing in schools

Arts Council England (ACE) has launched a £1.2m fund to support creative writing in schools.

Meanwhile, ACE's recently appointed chief executive Darren Henley has urged the government to cease cuts to art funding.

Between October 2015 and October 2018, ACE will invest in three funding awards for organisations that send professional writers to do creative writing workshops in schools.

The money will be given as three separate awards for projects aimed at children between the ages of 8-14 and at least one will go to an organisation in the North or South West.

Arts Council England said it designed the fund to “enable children with socio-economic barriers to the arts and with the least arts engagement, to enjoy, learn and be inspired by art and culture”.

Participating schools will receive an Artsmark award.

Any organisations that want to apply for some of the funding can find all the details on the website. Applications close on the 8th July.

As well an announcing new programmes, Henley used his first public speech at Ferens Art Gallery in Hull today (28th May), to defend arts funding, saying progress is "only sustainable with the long-term commitment of grant in aid".

Appealing to the government and local authorities, Henley said ACE was committed to making "the best possible case to ensure government funding for the arts, for museums, and for libraries – which has already been cut so much since 2010."

He added: "We also need the support of our friends in local government. They remain the largest investors in art and culture. They support venues, libraries and museums. The everyday resources of a community’s shared life. If local authority funding is widely withdrawn, there will be little our limited funds can achieve. And no net gain to our increased investment of Lottery money outside London. It will be in vain. We understand that Local Authorities have to make tough decisions. But we know how much they value the role that culture brings to their communities. If local authorities stand by the arts, we will stand by them. And one firm commitment attracts another. That is how confidence is built, and investment is attracted."

In his speech, Henley described his experiences during the first six weeks of his tenure, visiting more than 60 places and meeting more than 250 arts and culture leaders. He used the speech to reveal what he called "a significant shift" in the distribution of Arts Council National Lottery funding, meaning that by the end of 2018, at least 75% of Lottery revenue will be invested outside of London.

Last year, a number of organisations funded by ACE's National Portfolio saw cuts to their funding. However, others, such as publishers And Other Stories and Penned in the Margins were added to the funding list for the first time.