City leaders have welcomed news that Arts Council England is to more than double the number of local arts and cultural organisations being supported through a significant national investment programme
Stoke-on-Trent City Council has praised the decision, which will see £6.8m in investment over 2023-2026 and will increase the number National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) in North Staffordshire from three to eight. NPOs are recognised by Arts Council England as leaders in their areas, with a collective responsibility to protect and develop the national arts and cultural ecology.
Arts Council England have named the following North Staffordshire organisations as NPOs: successful re-designations for B-arts, BCB and the New Vic Theatre; plus new recipients Claybody, Frontline Dance, Partners in Creative Learning, Portland Inn Project and ReStoke.
Councillor Lorraine Beardmore, cabinet member for culture, leisure and public health, said: “We are delighted to hear that our area has one of the highest numbers of new recipients for the Arts Council England’s investment programme in the country.
“It recognises the strength, quality and profile of the work of our diverse range of arts and cultural organisations. This is a significant national investment in culture in Stoke-on-Trent and the surrounding area, which will benefit residents over a number of years.”
The announcement follows the launch of a six-year cultural strategy for the city to celebrate and promote Stoke-on-Trent as a first-class destination for business, heritage and culture. The council’s cabinet announced the strategy in September which will see the authority work in partnership with cultural and creative organisations across the city to create opportunities to improve the lives of residents and promote Stoke-on-Trent as a nationally important cultural destination.
Councillor Beardmore added: “Along with recent investments in our museums and archives services, this news is a further step on the way to realising our vision of Stoke-on-Trent as a major cultural centre.”