Arts Council England's new National Portfolio of funding has seen some arts groups in the West Midlands lose their funding entirely, some told their funding will dwindle over the next four years, and some groups receive funding for the first time.
Three new bodies in Birmingham have been successful in applications for National Portfolio funding.
Performances Birmingham, Writing West Midlands and the Sonia Sabri Dance Company have all been boosted by handouts from Arts Council England.
Performances Birmingham is the registered charity that operates the city’s Town Hall and Symphony Hall venues (THSH).
An amalgamation with Birmingham Jazz has been successful in applying for grants of more than £80,000 to fund a music programme alongside jazz-based education and community work.
The collaboration is the first successful outcome of the Birmingham Music Hub project, with organisations working together to share resources.
Tony Dudley-Evans, artistic director of Birmingham Jazz, said: “We believe that this partnership, which builds on many previous joint successes, will deliver an enhanced and focused programme that will broaden opportunities to engage with live music through education and concert going in Birmingham.”
Paul Keene, director of programming at THSH, said: “We work in partnership with a huge range of small organisations in the city, supporting them and helping develop their audiences.”
Writing West Midlands, which manages Birmingham Book Festival, has received an initial £180,000 handout, which chief executive Jonathan Davidson labelled as more of a “sigh of relief” than a celebration.
“It underlines the work we already do and gives us the resources to continue supporting 350 writers across the West Midlands and taking professional writers into 55 schools,” he said.
“Most of our work is low key but that doesn’t make it any less important. We shall be continuing to promote the work of writers in the West Midlands and not only taking their work across the UK but also trying to establish them overseas,” added Mr Davidson.
He added: “This award is in appreciation of 12 years of hard work. We will have to work even harder now to justify being included in the new funding scheme. The funding award presents an opportunity and responsibility to continue our commitment to the development and delivery of literature activity in the West Midlands, as well as driving and supporting the writing ecology regionally and nationally.”
The other city beneficiary, Sonia Sabri Company, is a company which has established an international reputation for presenting Indian-style Kathak dance. It creates work relevant to modern audiences, inspired by Indian and British culture.
Driving the arts forward to become accessible to more people is a key factor in deciding which organisations benefit from the new national portfolio funding scheme.
Live & Local is a not-for-profit arts organisation working with voluntary groups across Solihull, Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire which has been boosted by a hefty grant increase to an average of about £170,000 a year over the next three years.
It provides support for arts activities that keep people in touch with communities and enhance their quality of life.
But the funding increase will just about cover existing expenditure because the group has massively expanded since making its application.