ACE reveals it has granted nearly £2.5m to 'literature' sector in emergency fund

ACE reveals it has granted nearly £2.5m to 'literature' sector in emergency fund

Arts Council England has revealed its emergency response funding breakdown, with a £2,463,882 grant to the successful individuals and organisations that applied from the literature discipline. 

ACE's emergency response package was announced in March, and designed to "help alleviate the immediate pressures faced by artists, creative practitioners, arts organisations, museums and libraries over the summer".

The body pledged £160m to the package, to be channelled through three emergency funds. ACE received a total of 13,688 applications: 10,295 from individuals and 3,393 from organisations, with 71.1% of applicants awarded funding.

Separate to this were 517 applications for grants under the broader discipline of literature. A total of £2,463,882 was awarded to the successful 79.5% of applicants.

The Royal Literary Society received £400,000 from the £4m benevolent fund, to be administered by the Society of Authors.

The combined data for funds allocated to invididuals and organisations shows that out of the 19 libraries that applied for the nine grants available, 58.3% were awarded grants and received £143,783 collectively.

Nicholas Serota, chair of ACE, said: “This urgent financial support has provided a lifeline to the many creative individuals and organisations across England that make up our vibrant cultural sector, for whom Covid-19 has dealt a devastating blow. We thank our Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport Oliver Dowden, digital and culture minister Caroline Dinenage, and officials at the DCMS, for their continued support as we work together to protect and sustain a cultural sector that can be a catalyst for national renewal, as we emerge from this crisis."

In the report, the body stressed its commitment to "supporting greater equality, diversity and inclusion across the creative sector". Black and minority ethinc individuals and organisations were given £13.1M out of the total £64.8M fund, and 74.3% of applicants were offered funding, though funds allocated were not broken down by discipline and ethnicity. 

Sascha Akhtar, an author and translator based in London, said: "The lives of artists are not easy. As artists and bodies of colour, we face additional challenges. For these reasons, I commend the speed with which ACE acted at this unprecedented time. Their efficiency too was the lifeline I needed. You see, the funding is not just about money–it is about feeling supported in a time of chaos. It means a boost in wellbeing and mental health. It has given me faith, confidence and belief in the cultural sector."

ACE will publish the data from its third fund for non-profit organisations and leading creative people and places (CPP) in July. The body has announced its intention to move from the "response" phase to Covid-19, into the "stabilisation" period, where it will work with the government and other stakeholders to support the sector.