Arts Council England has committed £5.3m to a scheme aimed at developing greater resilience among organisations contributing to wider diversity in the arts.

Street carnival scene
Global Grooves, Liverpool.

Christian Dyson / Oscar Studios

A new consultancy service supporting equality throughout the arts sector will be launched by Disability Arts Online following the announcement of a £150,000 grant from Arts Council England (ACE). The organisation will use its specialist disability and diversity expertise to help the sector to diversify its workforces, audiences and programmes.

The grant is one of 40 awards made through ACE’s Elevate fund, which has been established to support BME and disability-led organisations to make strong applications for Arts Council funding. Initially worth £2.1m, the Elevate fund has been allocated a further £3.2m of Lottery money “due to the strength of applications received” for the scheme.

Awards of between £100k and £150k are going to organisations that are not currently receiving ACE National Portfolio funding, but are deemed to be already making a significant contribution to enhancing diversity within the sector. The money will help them strengthen their resilience, so that the breadth of organisations funded by ACE can in future “better reflect England’s diverse communities.”

Other successful applicants include:

  • Manchester-based theatre company Trans Creative, awarded £135k to help them raise the visibility of marginalised trans community groups and to widen arts opportunities for them.
  • Global Grooves, a BME artist-led carnival arts organisation based in Tameside, given £123k to improve their governance and management, build new income streams and increase their profile and partnerships.
  • Hubbub Theatre Company, an inclusive theatre company for people with disabilities in the East Midlands, which receives £146k to strengthen its business model and provide a talent development programme for actors with learning disabilities.

Abid Hussain, Director of Diversity at Arts Council England, said: “Diversity is a crucial priority for the Arts Council; the increased scale of our investment through Elevate is a testament to our ambition of driving forward meaningful change.”

Liz Hill