Funding boost for Culture across South Yorkshire

Various Cultural organisations across the borough of Barnsley have received a funding boost from Arts Council England through the National Portfolio Organisation scheme.


Arts Council England is boosting spending in arts, museums and libraries in villages, towns and cities where investment needs to be increased to encourage higher participation levels


This funding will be critical in supporting and engaging with communities through creative and cultural activities, as well as creating jobs, attracting visitors, and boosting the local visitor economy. 


It recognises the excellent work of all the organisations in developing high-quality and accessible cultural programmes.


Three organisations have been announced as achieving NPO status for the first time, including Barnsley Libraries, Gary Clarke Company and Lung Productions. Barnsley Libraries has been awarded £587k, which will support their community engagement programme. 


Existing National Portfolio Organisations in the borough have sustained and, in some instances, secured additional funding. Existing NPO organisation Barnsley Museums have been awarded almost £1.5M to continue their outstanding work supporting residents, sharing collections, and showcasing the fascinating history of Barnsley’s past. 


Other successful organisations include The Civic, Barnsley, Brass Band England, the Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance and the Invisible Flock Company.


The combined total funding into the borough from the scheme is almost £2.3M each year. 


The investment supports the importance of culture, particularly in tough economic times, when arts, museums and libraries offer comfort, distraction and everyday wonders to communities. Investing in creative talent and organisations will drive growth in world leading creative industries. 


Councillor Robert Frost, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: “It’s a great day for culture in Barnsley. We are incredibly grateful for the investment from Arts Council England, and its impact will be felt across the borough and beyond. We have an outstanding and varied Cultural offer in Barnsley, and this funding will allow organisations to do great things and support communities and individuals in many different ways. It’s an exciting time for our town, and I look forward to what lies ahead from all the successful organisations.”


Councillor Caroline Makinson, Cabinet Spokesperson for Public Health and Communities, said: “Libraries are a vital resource for our local communities. The funding awarded from the Arts Council will allow Barnsley Libraries to develop activities and add to our boroughs exciting and dynamic arts and culture programme.  We are delighted that they have achieved NPO status and it is a real testament to the ambitions of the team who have exciting plans ahead.”


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.” 


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