Arts Council England announces £175m investment in South London

More than 80 organisations in South London will receive a share of a three-year £175.8m investment thanks to funding from Arts Council England.

The council invests public money from the Government and the National Lottery to help support the arts sector.

London is set to receive £431.2 million between 2023 and 26. There is a wider spread of investment to outer boroughs, meaning more Londoners will benefit from creative and cultural investment. 

Loughborough Junction-based Sunshine International Arts students (Picture: SiA)

“Priority Places,” such as Croydon, will receive £18.8 million, while more than £10.9m is going to the outer boroughs such as Bromley.

There are 19 new organisations in South London receiving funding for the first time.

Newly-funded organisations in South London include the Brixton-based Pegasus Opera Company, which aims to make opera accessible to more people; the Garden Museum, which celebrates British gardens and gardening through a collection housed in historic former medieval church; BLINK dance theatre, an inclusive arts company that delivers productions accessible to people with profound and multiple learning disabilities and Autism; and Merton Library & Heritage Service, which operates seven public libraries and a Heritage & Local Studies Centre.

Greenwich+Docklands Festival (Picture: Camilla Greenwell)

Organisations such as the Royal Opera House, the London Transport Museum, the National Theatre, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), the Southbank Centre, and Studio Wayne McGregor will continue to receive funding in the new portfolio.

Tonya Nelson, area director for London at Arts Council England, said: “Our aim has been to support a broad range of organisations and artforms in every corner of London, with a clear focus on ensuring that investment goes into places that, historically, have been underserved including London’s outer boroughs. 

“Funding these new organisations and places, will help us inspire the next generation of cultural and artistic talent and increase opportunity for people of all communities and backgrounds.”

Battersea Arts Centre is set to receive funding (Picture: BAC)

The Government gave the Arts Council an instruction to distribute funding to areas of historically low cultural engagement and spending by moving £24m of investment from London to the rest of the country (with a specific focus on Levelling Up for Culture Places) by the end of this 2023/26 portfolio. 

As a proportion, London will receive a third of the overall investment for England announced today. 

Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan said: “Today’s investment will see new organisations getting financial support and added to Arts Council England’s national portfolio. 

“It will support many of London’s internationally renowned institutions while also spreading cash more evenly across the city’s boroughs – bringing more culture to the doorsteps of millions.”

Pictured top: Young musicians learning violin at World Heart Beat Music Academy in Wandsworth (Picture: Phil Conrad)

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