Chief executive John Laidlaw said the Arts Council grant was fantastic news for everyone involved in the project, but it was the hours of unpaid work put in by volunteers across the Midlands that helped keep its programmes on the road.
“We are all cock-a-hoop over the Arts Council national portfolio funding, but Live & Local is made possible by funding from local authorities and an investment of time, enthusiasm and commitment by local volunteers and their communities,” he said.
The organisation grew out of The Warwickshire Village and Community Touring Scheme that was originally managed from 1987 by the County Arts development officer.
Staffordshire joined the network in 1994, with Solihull and Derbyshire taking up the programme in 2001 as it expanded to take the arts to rural venues across the Midlands.
Another organisation to benefit from the new funding arrangement is Ledbury Poetry Festival.
Since its creation in 1997, Ledbury has become the largest poetry festival in Britain.
Two Black Country venues joined together to secure greater funding.
Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Bilston Craft Gallery combined its bid and has been awarded £390,000 across three years.
The highest profile casualty of the cuts is Malvern Theatre, home to the legendary Malvern Festival, founded in 1929.
The theatre has established itself as a beacon for quality touring drama in the region.
Spokeswoman Sophie Boyce said the Arts Council decision to refuse the national portfolio application was a blow.
She said: “Malvern Theatres is disappointed not to have received any funding. The theatres applied for a grant of £57,320 per year, index linked for three years starting in April 2012.
"This amount was in line with the theatre’s existing funding agreement, in place since April 2009.
“The existing grant, which is not for day-to-day running costs, was awarded in support of the diversity of programming in Malvern. The existing funding is in place for the next 12 months and so there will be no impact on the programme in the short term.
“In the longer term, Malvern is determined to maintain the range and quality of its programme and will be looking for ways to bridge the gap in funding left by the loss of its Arts Council grant.”
Music group Black Voices will also see all of its funding withdrawn. Music director Carol Pemberton said they had received about £46,000 a year for the past seven years from the Arts Council, which had paid administration costs and contributed towards her salary.
The largely self-funded vocal harmony group, grounded in the Black church, has been performing a cappella since 1987 to venues across the world.
It will now be looking to other funding streams such as Grants for the Arts to make up the shortfall.
The 50-year-old performer, from Kings Heath, in Birmingham, added: “We’re not bitter but it is a shame as I think we were one of the few Black organisations who were delivering. But everybody’s affected by some cuts. This is our little cross and we have got to pick it up and get going with it.”