A successful bid would make The Factory the sixth largest National Portfolio Organisation.

The Factory

OMA. Image Courtesy of The Factory Manchester

Manchester City Council is preparing an application for £9m in annual Arts Council England (ACE) National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) funding for The Factory.

A successful bid would make The Factory the sixth largest NPO, behind Opera North on £10.4m, and ahead of Birmingham Royal Ballet on £7.9m.

The news comes as Jenny Baxter replaces ACE Area Director Simon Mellor as The Factory's Project Director.

Revenue funding

NPO applicants will find out if they have been successful by 1 July 2017.


NPO funding for 2017/18 + Factory

Royal Opera House £24,772,000
Southbank Centre Limited £19,186,000
Royal National Theatre £17,217,000
Royal Shakespeare Company £15,447,000
Opera North £10,386,000
The Factory £9,000,000
Birmingham Royal Ballet £7,891,000
English National Ballet £6,214,000

In order to be accepted onto the portfolio, applicants for over £1m in annual funding must demonstrate how they will contribute to the Creative Case for Diversity and achieve the five ACE goals set out in the application guidance.

Though The Factory operator is obliged to submit an application, funding has already been ring-fenced by the Treasury for the organisation.

If current NPOs were to have their funding renewed for 2018-22, and ACE funds simply swelled by £9m a year, the introduction of the Factory would further improve the ratio of NPO funding delivered outside of London, as proposed by the Culture Select Committee.

Additional funds

Manchester City Council has indicated that The Factory – scheduled to cost £110m – will need to raise an additional £1.25m a year to “achieve the highest artistic ambitions” for the project.

Entering the national portfolio would leave The Factory eligible to apply for ACE’s strategic funds.

Construction on The Factory is due to start in January 2017.