Faber to receive ACE funding for New Poets scheme

Faber to receive ACE funding for New Poets scheme

The number of literature organisations receiving regular Arts Council England (ACE) funding is falling from 58 to 53, as ACE revealed its new national portfolio of arts organisations today [30th March]. The total number of organisations receiving funding is falling from 849 to 695.

Faber will become one of ACE's 11 new literature portfolio organisations, which guarantees funding for a set number of years. Faber will receive £40,000 each year from April 2012 to 2015 for its New Poets not-for-profit scheme. It supports emerging talent in poetry through mentorship, professional advice and pamphlet publication. Eight poets passed through the scheme in 2009-10, which also received funding from the Arts Council.

Of the 791 previously funded organisations, 206 have had their funding applications turned down, with 110 new organisations brought into the portfolio. Among the other new literature organisations to receive funding for the period 2012-2015 is Poet in the City, The Ministry of Stories and Children's Discovery Centre.

The cuts come as ACE implements a 29.6% grant in aid cut to its 2011-2015 budget from the government, with 14.9% of the cut being handed on to its budget for portfolio organisations. However, due to inflation, this real term cut is now reported as being closer to 17%.

Chair of ACE Dame Liz Forgan said: "This is about a resilient future for the arts in England. We have taken the brave path of strategic choices not salami slices which has meant some painful decisions, and it is with regret that we have had to cease funding some good organisations."

Chief executive for ACE Alan Davey said: "There have been some really hard choices as we had so many good applications—more than we were able to fund. In advance of the Spending Review, we said 'cut us, don't kill us'. Well, with the help of Lottery income, for which we are grateful, we're alive and kicking. But we do regret that we have been unable to fund perfectly good organisations, and I know this will be taken hard by those affected".

National Lottery funding has increased, with ACE's lottery income forecasted to rise from about £149m over 2010/11 to £223m in 2014/15, due to the Government's decision to increase the share of Lottery money going to arts, heritage and sport.

ACE has set aside £18m of this lottery funding to support the portfolio in touring such as theatre productions, aiming to counteract what it called the "grim" national picture developing due to local authority cuts and those to higher education.

As previously reported, ACE launched the new funding programme on 4th November 2010, closing applications on 24th January 2011.

More than 1,300 organisations submitted to be part of the new portfolio of funded organisations, demonstrating how they met the five goals outlined in ACE's 10-year strategic framework for the arts, "Achieving Great Art for Everyone". Within the new system, funds will be fixed for usually three years, although some organisations will be able to have more variable schemes, receiving funding from two to six years.

The change to the programme, replacing ACE's Regularly Funded Organisations with a portfolio, was in response to the budget requirements outlined in the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review on 20th October 2010. The majority of arts organisations funded by ACE received a 6.9% across-the-board cash cut for 2011/12, as the organisation began to implement the 29.6% cut to its budget by 2015.