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Sage concert hall, Gateshead

Levelling up the arts

Fifty-two arts organisations in the North East will share over £23m a year for the next three years as Arts Council England (ACE) funding shifts out of London to the north and other under-funded areas.

The annual payments for 2023-26 represent an increase of 15% for the region compared with 2021-22.

Cultural and creative bodies in the North East are among 990 in England sharing £446m a year, including £43.5m for 78 Levelling Up for Culture Places (LUCPs).

ACE said there will be 21.8% more investment outside London in 2023-24 than in 2018-19, though London will remain the largest recipient with £152m.

Thirteen cultural organisations in the North East which were not previously funded by ACE will receive payments in 2023-23. Of these, two each are in County Durham, Northumberland, Redcar & Cleveland, South Tyneside, Stockton and Sunderland and one is in Middlesbrough. Every local authority in the region is on the list except Hartlepool.

ACE chief executive Darren Henley said: ‘In some places our funding has been too low for too long. Those include some of the towns and cities which were the powerhouses of the industrial revolution. They are also rural areas which inspired countless poets and artists. And they also include our seaside resorts that are as integral to our cultural heritage as their names are to the sticks of rock sold there. This investment programme changes that.’

The biggest grants in the North East go to the North Music Trust, which runs the Sage concert hall, Gateshead (£3,576,745), Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums (£3,357,648),  Baltic Flour Mills Visual Arts, which runs the Baltic contemporary art gallery in Gateshead (£3,037,975) and Northern Stage, Newcastle (£1,591,246). The biggest increases go to the TIN Arts dance company in County Durham (up from £82,952 to £202,952) and the Customs House combined arts centre, South Shields (up from £102,530 to £204,000).

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.’

Darren Henley said: ‘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.’

The full list of recipients can be found here.