Highlights are delighted to have secured conditional funding from Arts Council England for 2023

Highlights are delighted to have secured conditional funding from Arts Council England for 2023, allowing us to continue to enrich the lives of people in rural communities across the north of England.

“The Arts Council funding provides a real boost to Highlights, securing the next three years of our work in village halls, community spaces, schools and libraries. We look forward to working with volunteer promoters, artists and partners to ensure we can provide the best of arts and culture for rural communities across Cumbria, County Durham and Northumberland”
Kate Lynch, Director

Arts Council England are boosting spending in arts, museums and libraries in villages, towns and cities where investment is currently too low. The public want to be creative, and have the very best art and culture available to them in their neighbourhoods.This portfolio will deliver for them, it is Arts Council’s most varied and ambitious yet.   
That is more important in tough economic times, when arts, museums and libraries offer comfort, distraction and everyday wonders to communities, and investment in creative talent and organisations will drive growth in our world leading creative industries.     

What are the data headlines? 

  • £446 million per annum of investment to bring art, culture, and creativity to more people, in more places, across the country 
  • 990 organisations will receive a share of £446 million investment, including 276 new organisations of all shapes and sizes 
  • Each year, we’re investing £43.5 million in Levelling Up for Culture Places across the country  
  • 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.”

    See more on Arts Council England’s 2023-26 Investment Programme on their website: 

    Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high-quality cultural experiences.

    We invest public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision.

    Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council developed a £160 million Emergency Response Package, with nearly 90% coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support. We are also one of the bodies responsible for administering the Government’s unprecedented Culture Recovery Fund, of which we delivered over £1 billion to the sector in grants and loans. Find out more at

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