Arts Council England backs art, culture, and creativity for more people in more places, across the country
Arts Council England NPO
The Literary Consultancy has been awarded continued NPO (National Portfolio Organisation) funding for the period 2023-26, thanks to Arts Council England. In total, 990 organisations receive a share of £446 million of public funding, ensuring that more people in more places can find fantastic, fulfilling art and culture on their doorsteps.
A list of NPOs and IPSOs (Investment Principle Support Organisations) was revealed at 11am on 4th November. Of these, 276 were new to the Portfolio, with an increased focus on investment outside of London in line with the government’s Levelling Up strategy. TLC remains within the London portfolio, but has a national remit, working with writers writing in English from across the UK and beyond, with a remote staff team based in the South East and North East of England and with 64% of freelancers based outside of London and the South East. Across artforms, Literature in particular received a welcome proportional increase, from £6.9m in the previous NPO round to £16m in the new Portfolio.
Arts Council England Chair, Sir Nicholas Serota, said: “As well as continuing our commitment to our many established and renowned cultural organisations, I am deeply proud of the support we will be giving to those new organisations which will help ignite creativity across the country. We are facing economic pressures at present but this funding is about an investment in our future. This portfolio will support the next generation of visionary inventors, makers, performers and artists. In particular, the growth of our funding for organisations that support and develop work for children represents a profoundly important long-term investment in our country’s talent.”
Arts Council England Chief Executive, Darren Henley, said: “Together, each of the 990 organisations that have been offered funding today will contribute to a portfolio that is rich, varied and truly national. This is our widest ever spread of investment across the country, ensuring that many more people will have access to a wider choice of exceptional art, culture and creative opportunities on their doorsteps. We are in tough times but we must remember creativity brings with it extraordinary dividends, boosting our country’s economic growth, creating jobs, bringing communities closer together, and making us happier as individuals. Everyone deserves to enjoy the benefits it brings, and with this investment, we believe we’ve taken a decisive step towards making that vision a reality.”
Thanks to the funding, TLC will continue to provide essential funded editorial support for low-income and marginalised writers through its Free Reads Scheme, in partnership with all of the major literature development agencies across England, and additional public programming. Free Reads will open again in April 2023, with new resources available to help even more writers access the scheme.
Over the previous funding period 2018-22, the NPO investment allowed TLC to ensure that at least 20% of its commercial services were offered at no cost, with around 40% of programmed activity available at no cost or at significant subsidy. With the addition of the new Supporter/Supported scheme, introduced in 2021, and with 5% of all Mentoring proceeds also going towards bursaries, TLC is finding ways to increase this provision in the coming years, growing beyond standstill funding to offer even more opportunities to writers. Previous initiatives and programmes that have been made possible thanks to ACE funding include Writing Soup for the Soul, a disabled artists-led series of online creativity and wellbeing sessions, a Funding for Writers webinar which saw 7% of participants go on to secure financial support for their writing, the TLC/PTC Editing Skills Training Scheme which has supported over 100 aspiring editors from marginalised backgrounds, and the Michael Langan LGBTQ+ Free Reads, supported this year for the first time by Out on the Page.
The Literary Consultancy Director, Aki Schilz, said: “We take our responsibility as a publicly funded organisation seriously, and are committed to creating a more inclusive industry, where access to creativity is for everyone, and where writers feel empowered to write their own stories with confidence. We are grateful to Arts Council England for their continued confidence in us to deliver on this commitment.
These are challenging times for the arts, and it is more important than ever that we find community, develop equitable collaborations, and support our artistic community, from freelancers and practitioners, to organisations facing cuts. We are committed to finding ways through, that benefit all of us.”