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Arts groups funding decisions due today

Arts Council England is announcing its funding decisions today, with 206 of its ‘regularly funded organisations’ (RFOs) no longer getting money.

Among them is Museums Sheffield, whose chief executive Nick Dodd said: “This is very disappointing news. With Arts Council support Museums Sheffield has helped bring contemporary art to huge audiences over the past few years, including over a million visitors in the last year alone.”

ACE’s own grant in aid budget was cut by 14.9% by the Government, but it promised to allocate funding “strategically”, rather than by salami-slicing across the board. This means that some organisations are hearing this morning that they will be getting funding increases.

Dame Liz Forgan, who chairs Arts Council England, said: “This is about a resilient future for the arts in England. We have taken the brave path of strategic choices not salami slices which has meant some painful decisions, and it is with great regret that we have had to cease funding some good organisations.

“But we will still be supporting excellence, exceptional talent and successful risk-taking; helping organisations to get their great work out far and wide; backing strong leadership and cultural entrepreneurialism; supporting resilient organisations that can thrive as well as survive; and encouraging work that really enthuses children and young people - because that's where it all begins.

“We have tried to go about this difficult process collaboratively, and with honesty and clarity of purpose. We have been helped enormously by having a 10-year shared vision for the arts, which has focused our minds.”

Alan Davey, chief executive of Arts Council England, said: “There have been some really hard choices as we had so many good applications - more than we were able to fund. In advance of the Spending Review, we said "cut us, don't kill us".

“Well, with the help of Lottery income, for which we are grateful, we're alive and kicking. But we do regret that we have been unable to fund perfectly good organisations, and I know this will be taken hard by those affected.”

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