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North-East misses out on Arts Council funding
CULTURAL projects in the North-East have largely missed out on the latest round of Arts Council funding.
Only one bid from the region was successful - Tyneside Cinema which received £499,000 to redevelop its bar into a digital art space - while a £2m bid from investors wanting to revitalise the defunct Darlington Arts Centre was rejected.
Yorkshire fared better, with four organisations across Leeds and Doncaster receiving small capital grants, and York Theatre Royal progressing to the second stage of its large capital bid – meaning it is likely to receive £2.9m within the next 18-months.
Since the capital programme launched in 2011, only two North-East projects have successfully bid for large scale grants - the National Glass Centre in Sunderland which won £750,000 and Gateshead Council’s £10m bid to extend the Sage music centre which is progressing through to the second application stage.
In contrast, six venues in London have received a large capital grant, including £17.5m going to the National Theatre and £10m to the Royal Opera House, while 11 arts organisations in the Capital have received the smaller scale grants.
In the latest round of funding announcements, the North West was the single region which fared the best, receiving 34 per cent of the allocations, but London and the South East combined got the largest share of the spoils with 39 per cent.
A spokesman for Arts Council England said that it could not reveal how many capital grant applications had been received from North-East organisations, although The Northern Echo understands that five groups initially bid for a large scale grant – including the successful Sage and National Glass Centre bids.
He described the capital funding programme as a “nationally competitive” scheme which represented just one of the ways the council invested in the arts and cultural sector.
He added: “Applications being assessed against a strict set of criteria, along with competition for funds are the two major factors which contribute towards the decision-making process.
“Although there are fewer successful applicants in the-North East with this round of capital announcements, in this financial year the Arts Council has invested over £34m in the region to date, with an additional commitment of over £10m from a previous round of capital funding.”
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