arts council england

Arts Council England (ACE) announced their investment in culture across the country today which sees Southampton successfully securing £3.88 million per year over the next three years.

New organisations that will be joining ACE National Portfolio Organisations, include MAST Mayflower Studios, SoCo Music Project, Opera Up Close who will receive this additional investment, whilst ‘a space arts’, Art Asia, John Hansard Gallery, Turners Simms and Zoie Logic Dance Theatre will continue to receive funding, as will Artswork who deliver activity across the region.

This additional investment into Southampton, is a fantastic part of our legacy from Southampton’s bid to become the next UK City of Culture in 2025. Despite the title going elsewhere, the process put Southampton on the map and this increased funding shows ACE’s ongoing commitment to Southampton. 

Other recent ACE successes include a grant to visual art producer Katie Daley-Yates of Host Production who is commissioning two public art projects for Riverside Park and the surrounding neighbourhoods by local artists sarah filmer and Deborah Gearing. This was match-funded by Abri, The Southampton Collection and Three Rivers Rail Partnership.

Alongside this announcement, the founding partners behind the UK City of Culture bid are in the process of transitioning to the Southampton Culture Trust and fundraising is underway to deliver on some of the activities that were developed as part of the bidding process, building on the extensive consultation which came from the generosity of people’s time, ideas and passion for the city.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Satvir Kaur said: 

“Part of the reason to bid for City of Culture in the first place was to draw in more external investment into our city, so I am thrilled that our work during the bid process has resulted in such an uplift in regular ACE investment into our city, which will support local organisations that offer skills and opportunities to young people, grow local talent, and deliver great initiatives from tackling mental health to social isolation.  

We know that this was a tough and competitive funding round, and this uplift is an accolade of all the hard work put by city organisations and the creative sector in Southampton.

At a time when we need to grow our local economy and attract visitors to the city, this is very welcome news. We remain committed to delivering on our City of Culture bid legacy, that will continue to see more external investment coming into our city, put Southampton on the map, and create a place people want to live, work, study, visit and enjoy.”   

Claire Whitaker OBE, CEO of Southampton Culture Trust said: 

“It is fantastic to see investment coming to support Southampton’s cultural sector and the city being rewarded for placing culture at the heart of its vision for opportunity and growth.  As we establish the Southampton Culture Trust, we are placing support of the sector and building its capacity at the centre of our activity. Our first event, a conference to bring the city’s cultural sector back together, will be held early in 2023 and we look forward to building on the energy and commitment that has been unleashed over the last few years.”


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