13 areas to receive a share of £75m of cultural funding

Birmingham Royal Ballet

13 places in the West Midlands will receive a share of £75m of cultural funding as part of the levelling up drive.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries today revealed that by 2025 areas outside London will benefit from the boost in funding.

This investment through the Arts Council is expected to rise to almost £250m by 2025, the equivalent of a 19% increase by the final year of the Spending Review period. Arts Council England (ACE), which will oversee the distribution of the funds, will see its overall budget increase over the period.

ACE currently spends £21 per head in London and an average of £6 per head in the rest of England.

Stoke-on-Trent, Dudley and Wolverhampton are among 13 West Midlands places that will be placed on the priority list for funding.

Arts Minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay said: “The West Midlands is a cultural hotspot, home to great institutions like Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Royal Shakespeare Company, but there are still too many people in the region who don’t have the chance to enjoy the benefits the arts can bring.

“This new funding for cultural organisations outside the capital will mean more people in the West Midlands have the opportunity to experience the best of culture and creativity on their doorstep.”

Other local authority areas in the West Midlands included on the list are Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire, North Warwickshire, Nuneaton & Bedworth, Redditch, Sandwell, Solihull, Tamworth, Walsall and Wyre Forest.

The boost is to ensure a better distribution of arts funding to proportionally level up the country, increase accessibility and opportunities in areas that have been culturally under-served.

The West Midlands organisations that already receive Arts Council England support include Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, One Dance UK, and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Carlos Acosta, director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, said: “Birmingham Royal Ballet demonstrates the power of public investment in the arts outside London.

“Since BRB moved to Birmingham in 1990 at the invitation of the City, the generous support of Arts Council England has helped us to become a central part of cultural and economic life in this great city.

“We hope this new investment will support our ambition to create more jobs, develop more skilled workers in the creative industries and present more world-class performances for audiences to enjoy across Birmingham, the Midlands and the whole country.”

The government will also shortly announce the recipients of £48 million from the latest round of the Cultural Investment Fund package. This funding will go to more than 50 organisations, the majority of which will be outside London.

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