City venues to get share of £2.3 million funding

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THE Stables and Milton Keynes Theatre and Gallery Company have each been awarded grants from Arts Council England.

Milton Keynes Gallery will receive £120,000 to develop a comprehensive three-year fundraising strategy that will include a summer programme for children and families.

Arts Council England yesterday announced 15 successful applicants in the south east region worth more than £2.3 million. This is part of the 173 national applicants in its £30 million Catalyst Arts capacity building and match funding scheme.

The Catalyst Arts scheme aims to make arts organisations more sustainable, resilient and innovative by increasing their fundraising potential and attracting new money to invest in additional artistic work. It acts as challenge funding to support additional arts activity.

173 organisations have been awarded just over £30m through the Catalyst Arts scheme. Arts Council England has made awards to organisations that are committed to making a step-change in their approach to fundraising by finding innovative ways to identify and make themselves more attractive to donors; and to make sure that donors want to keep on giving.

These awards will help the arts sector to attract new money now and in the longer term, which will be invested in additional artistic work.

Catalyst Arts is just one part of measures the Arts Council is putting in place to help create a more sustainable, resilient and innovative arts sector, which is Goal 3 of Achieving great art for everyone.

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: “It’s marvellous to see the many innovative ways in which arts organisations have responded to this opportunity to maximise their fundraising potential.

“It is vital that the arts continue to be publicly funded but, with the tough economic climate prevailing, it’s also essential to strengthen all the various sources of income that help keep the arts in this country ambitious and excellent.”

Sally Abbott, Regional Director, Arts Council England, South East, said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted that 15 arts organisations across the south east will benefit from our new Catalyst Arts capacity building and match funding programme – from Canterbury Festival to Oxford’s Pegasus Theatre to Brighton-based disability-arts charity Carousel.

‘All of the successful organisations will now be able to drive forward their existing fundraising efforts with renewed vigour, building on their financial resilience and ultimately creating further opportunities for people to experience great art.’

It is expected that organisations will use funds in the first year to gear up resources and build capacity. In the second and third years, funding will increasingly be used as match funding to incentivise gifts.

Successful applicants to the £55 million Catalyst Endowments scheme will be announced jointly by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) on 20 June, 2012.

The Catalyst Endowments scheme offers match funding to arts organisations with a successful track record of fundraising to help them build endowments that provide an annual income.

There is also a £7 million Catalyst programme to support arts organisations with little or no fundraising experience who would like to build their capacity and capability to attract new donors.

The Arts Council will open this final part of the scheme in Autumn 2012 enabling it to use what has been learned from the first two strands so that the investment has the greatest possible impact. More information about this part of the Catalyst scheme will follow in the coming months.