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Arts Council England 'pauses' announcement of new investment programme

The news was meant to come tomorrow

An auditorium
© Kgbo, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Arts Council England (ACE) has revealed it has hit the brakes on its imminent investment programme announcement.

The news came today, on the eve of the original announcement date (26 October). The 2023-26 programme has promised to be a seismic moment for many arts organisations, with ACE suggesting it will incorporate a "levelling up" strategy to move funds away from the capital.

The current list of NPOs (national portfolio organisations, which receive ACE funding) is around 828. According to reports from February, around 80 new NPOs could be created next year, while around 100 will receive increased funding. It is not stated how many organisations may lose their NPO status.

Arts Council England has stated it has "an instruction to move £24m per annum out of London", and that some London organisations have been encouraged to relocate outside of the capital.

ACE's chief executive Darren Henley said: "We feel for everyone awaiting the outcome of their funding application. We recognise the importance of giving organisations certainty to enable business planning and we know a delay will cause some disruption.

"We thank everyone for their patience. We are working with DCMS to reschedule this announcement as soon as possible."

The delay was revealed "following discussions with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)" and that the new "announcement of the portfolio will instead be made as soon as possible within the coming days."

At the moment, however, no specific date or time has been given.

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