The New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich is pleased to announce that its application to remain in the Arts Council England’s National Portfolio has been successful. The Arts Council is the national agency that invests in culture and creativity, and its National Portfolio is a group of cultural organisations that receive regular funding to provide communities in every corner of the country with more opportunities to enjoy culture and celebrate greatness of every kind. The New Wolsey has received regular funding from the Arts Council for the last 22 years and we are grateful for their continued support.
This investment will underpin the Theatre’s vital Creative Communities programme where communities, young people, schools, colleges, artists, and those traditionally underserved are given the opportunity to participate in, engage with, and discover the arts – nurturing creativity, developing skills, broadening horizons, and bringing people together. It also will support our diverse programme of high quality and affordable live performance reaching more people than ever before. The Theatre will receive £953,000 a year from 2023 – 2026. This funding represents 30% of the organisation’s overall annual turnover with the rest generated through box office sales, fundraising, donations, and other sources.
Douglas Rintoul, Chief Executive has said: ‘We’re thrilled to have secured continued investment from Arts Council England – it helps us to enrich and impact positively the lives of our communities in Ipswich and beyond. Although the scale of investment hasn’t changed since 2018 (representing a reduction in real terms), we will endeavour to respond to the changing needs of Greater Ipswich and Suffolk and build on the successes of the past 22 years. We acknowledge the challenging funding environment for taxpayers at a time when the financial climate is so tough, and we also recognise that some of our colleagues in the region and the UK may have received disappointing news today and this impacts us all. We will work to support the wider ecology in whatever way we can.’
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.’
Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan said: ‘Thanks to this new government funding package, spreading more money to more communities than ever before, people living in areas from Wolverhampton to Wigan and Crawley to Chesterfield will now get to benefit from the deep economic and social rewards culture can bring.
‘We continue to support our icons such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Royal Shakespeare Company, but today’s announcement will see organisations in places all too often overlooked get the support they need to transform access to the arts for everyone – no matter where they live.‘