Sector support charities merge after loss of ACE funding

Audience in theatre. Image depicts backs of heads and stage in background
23 Nov 2023

The Audience Agency and Culture24, who were both part of ACE's National Portfolio until they lost funding in April this year, have joined forces.

Autumn Statement: Sector criticises lack of support for arts

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivering the Autumn Statement, House of Commons, Wednesday 22 November 2023
22 Nov 2023

Concerns raised over absence of long-term plan for the creative industries, but grassroots music industry welcomes measures to freeze alcohol duty and support the lowest paid.

Big drop in arts and humanities PhD students

Oil painting restoration expert repairing damage on the canvas
21 Nov 2023

Concerns raised over future diversity and vitality of arts and humanities research as the number of UK-based doctoral students being funded nearly halves in the space of four years.

Culture gets £100m in final Levelling Up funding round

Computer-generated image of future theatre and cultural hub in Andover
21 Nov 2023

Government has distributed £4.8bn across three funding rounds, with an estimated £1.1bn designated to cultural projects.

Activists warn of ethical ‘loopholes’ in cultural corporate sponsorship 

National Portrait Gallery, London, June 2023
15 Nov 2023

National Portrait Gallery and Sadler's Wells have both faced criticism over the organisational links of some of their corporate sponsors.

Exclusive: Creative and Cultural Skills to close

A young woman working behind the scenes in a theatre adjusting a light
14 Nov 2023

Loss of core Arts Council England funding a significant factor in the decision to close organisation established 18 years ago.

Europe-wide project aims to create network of minority theatres

04 May 2017

(IN CROATIAN) Five minority theatres in Romania, Italy, Serbia, Albania and Croatia will combine to produce a play and a series of workshops in Spring 2018 using European Union funding.

New York opera security scare after powder sprinkled into orchestra pit

31 Oct 2016

The Metropolitan Opera cancelled a performance during the interval as a safety precaution after somebody sprinkled an unknown powder into the pit.

Library scoops £3,000 in the National Lottery Awards

25 Aug 2016

St Helens Libraries’ Cultural Hubs attracted over 2,000 votes to be named Best Arts Project for its work promoting health and wellbeing.

Museum delays reopening as bad weather hinders repairs

28 Nov 2023

A Lancashire museum undergoing roof repairs has delayed its reopening until next year due to severe weather conditions.

Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery closed temporarily on 1 November to allow for work to take place and was expected to reopen on 29 November. The £554,700 roof replacement scheme is partly funded by Arts Council England’s (ACE) Museum Estate and Development fund.

A spokesperson for Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery told the Lancashire Telegraph it now plans to reopen on 3 January.

“We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, a 150-year-old roof does need a lot of TLC, and a new roof will ensure that we can continue to care for our collections without worry of water ingress for years to come.”

Previously, water leakage had caused internal damage to the building, limiting the display of the museum’s collections.

The work is being financed by a £365,000 ACE grant and £189,700 from the museum’s owner, Blackburn with Darwen Council.

The gallery recently won National Portfolio Organisation status for 2023-26, worth £148,000 annually.

Royal Court creates ‘democratic’ digital archive

Four Royal Court production images showing August for the People, Seven methods of killing Kylie Jenner, Look back in anger and Blest be the tie
28 Nov 2023

Spearheaded by Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone, the Living Archive contains information on every Royal Court production.

Historic Manchester library awarded £450k

27 Nov 2023

The Portico Library in Manchester has been awarded a £453,964 development grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The money will be used to transform the historic library, creating an accessible and sustainable space for arts, books, learning and history.

Established in 1806, the library will now partner with experts and community stakeholders to trial plans for a £7m capital development project to revitalise the building as a creative space while preserving its historic book collection. 

The £453,964 development grant will contribute to producing environmentally sustainable architectural plans and mapping out methods to reunite all three original floors of the Grade II* Listed building.

John Carpenter, the library's Chair, said: “The news that The National Lottery Heritage Fund is supporting the Portico Library's bold scheme to open up and share its extraordinary heritage and collection to Manchester residents and visitors is a major cultural signal to Manchester, the North and the UK.
“This visionary project, years in the making, fulfils our mission of working with the many people in Manchester to explore, share, and celebrate their diverse stories and the city's literary and global heritage. Embracing creativity, collaboration and inclusivity, the project will unlock the library's past to plan for the future.”

Arnolfini closes amid Palestine Film Festival protests

27 Nov 2023

An arts centre that withdrew from hosting two events as part of the Bristol Palestine Film Festival closed its doors to the public this weekend following a protest organised by activist group Rise Up For Palestine.

The group held a sit-in in Arnolfini's bookshop and foyer on Friday (24 November) and had publicised plans for a second demonstration on Sunday.

Arnolfini posted on Instagram that it would not open over the weekend "to take care of the team".

The gallery has faced criticism since it announced that it had made the “difficult decision” not to host a previously scheduled film screen screening followed by a panel discussion and a live poetry night.

More than 2,200 people have signed an open letter opposing the gallery’s decision, noting that it hosted a film screening and panel discussion last year as part of the festival.

In its statement, Arnolfini cited the “difficulty for arts charities hosting events that might be construed as political activity”. The gallery said that because the events included film, performance, and discussion panels, it "could not be confident that the event would not stray into political activity.”

“The current tensions ... mean it is more likely events might be construed as political activity; it is beyond our available resources to adequately risk-assess [such] events at this current time.”

Council commits to future of arts venue

Morecambe Platform Railway Station
27 Nov 2023

Lancaster City Council has launched a new membership scheme for The Platform and vowed to continue running the art venue, which was facing the threat of closure.

UK arts councils distribute £320k for cultural exchange projects

27 Nov 2023

Dozens of UK art projects have been chosen to partner with national and international organisations in a second round of the Four Nations International Fund.

A total of 39 new projects will receive up to £7,500 from the fund’s budget of £320,000, including £28,000 allocated for access costs. 

Backed by Arts Council England, Arts Council Northern Ireland, Arts Council Wales / Wales Arts International and Creative Scotland, the fund is designed to support innovative models of international cultural exchange.

It is open to people working in the arts and creative industries in the UK who wish to collaborate with their counterparts elsewhere in the world.

This round of the fund brings together 60 partners from across the four UK nations and 50 international partners across 25 different countries.

Creative Scotland manages the fund’s application process of the UK's arts councils and agencies. On the partnership’s behalf, Dana MacLeod, Executive Director of Arts, Communities and Inclusion at Creative Scotland, said: “This second round of the Four Nations International Fund has made possible some new and exciting initiatives for artists in the UK and around the world to connect, exchange and collaborate. 

“The 39 projects demonstrate a strong diversity of cultures, practice, and perspectives, highlighting the positive effect arts and culture can have on communities globally.

"Coming together as agencies and funders to share resources and knowledge enables a much broader reach and impact for our artists and audiences.  We can also tackle important issues and challenges facing artists and practitioners around the world.” 

Street performers march on Westminster City Hall

Street performers walking along a street to deliver a petition
27 Nov 2023

Petition with more than 5,000 signatures delivered to Westminster Council's Leader in bid to 'save Covent Garden street performers'.

Badenoch criticises 'unreliable' Museum of London research

27 Nov 2023

Business and Equalities Secretary Kemi Badenoch has dubbed research from the Museum of London “unreliable”, accusing the organisation of using statistics to “whip up tensions around history and racism”.

Posting on X, Badenoch said that by publishing a study that suggests black women were more likely to have died during an outbreak of plague in the 14th Century, the museum was “undermining social cohesion in our country”.

Badenoch criticised the sample size and methods used by researchers, as well as comparisons made between the Black Death and the Covid pandemic. 

In a letter to the museum seen by The Times, she said: “It is imperative that ethnic minorities feel able to trust our healthcare institutions and that they are given accurate information about health outcomes based on robust evidence.

It is also important that evidence, be it historical or current, is not presented in a way that is misleading or that implies that the information is reliable when it is not.”

AHRC funds facilities to research stage and screen technologies

23 Nov 2023

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has launched a UK-wide network of creative technology labs to provide researchers and companies with innovative facilities to develop screen and performance technology.

Established with £75.6m of AHRC funding, the CoSTAR national network comprises a National Lab, three Network Labs and a Foresight Lab.

The National Lab is led by Royal Holloway University of London with partners including Pinewood Studios and the National Film and Television School. It will contain a dedicated stage and studio space, with a motion capture rig and a creative artificial intelligence computer facility accessible across the UK. 

Led by Goldsmiths, University of London with partners including BFI and the Creative Policy and Evidence Centre, the Foresight Lab will collect and analyse data to better understand the impacts of emerging technologies.

The three Network labs are: Screen Lab, led by Ulster University, with BBC Northern Ireland; Realtime Lab,  focusing on video games development and led by Abertay University; and Live Lab, led by the University of York with Opera North, which will develop technologies for live performance.

“The way we experience live performances will be completely transformed over the next decade”, said Professor Helena Daffern, Live Lab Co-Director and Professor of Music Science at the University of York.

“Imagine a live concert of your favourite artists where every member of the audience can shape their own unique audio-visual experience. You’ll have the ability to engage with every aspect of a production wherever you are, be it in the arena or the comfort of your own living room.”

“The Live Lab is poised to be at the forefront of innovation for live events,” added Professor Gavin Kearney, Lab Director and Professor of Audio Engineering at the University of York.

“We’re combining York’s research expertise with industry, public and third-sector partners who are all dedicated to innovation in live performance.”

Arnolfini pulls Palestinian film over ‘political activity' concerns

Arnolfini Centre for Contemporary Arts in Bristol, September 2016:
23 Nov 2023

Bristol's Arnolfini gallery said it "could not be confident the event would not stray into political activity", which would be at odds with its remit as a charitable organisation.

AEG submits plans for 'much needed' Edinburgh arena 

23 Nov 2023

The global entertainment and sporting group AEG has submitted plans to Edinburgh Council proposing the construction of an 8,500-capacity entertainment venue to the west of the city.

If successful, work is expected to begin in 2025 for a 2027 opening.

Edinburgh, known for its world-renowned arts and cultural festivals, boasts a range of venues but does not have a large-scale indoor venue. Previous proposals for an 8,000-capacity arena south of Edinburgh were tabled in 2019 but failed to get off the ground.

AEG President Alex Hill said the project would "cement Edinburgh's reputation as a destination for culture".

He said that the “much needed” arena will bring “world-class live music and entertainment to Edinburgh.”


Subscribe to News