Today, Arts Council England announced its new National Portfolio for 2018-22. Voluntary Arts has been successful in retaining its place as part of the National Portfolio and also securing a significant increase in annual funding to develop the Get Creative Festival - a merger of Voluntary Arts Festival and Get Creative Weekend beginning in March 2018. Voluntary Arts is funded to promote and support everyday creative participation across the country as one of 58 Sector Support Organisations.

Arts Council EnglandIn all, 831 organisations will receive a total of £1.6 billion over four years for 844 projects. £170 million more will be invested outside London. The National Portfolio includes organisations across England of all sizes and scales, with museums and libraries coming into the portfolio for the first time. Among those added to the portfolio is Family Arts Campaign, of which Voluntary Arts is a partner. The Family Arts Campaign is a large scale, national collaborative programme to increase levels of arts engagement by families.

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England said:

Everyone should have opportunities to enjoy art and culture, no matter where they live in England which is why we're pleased to be increasing our investment in Voluntary Arts Network over the next four years. It will be great to see our funding support them to host a new annual event, which will celebrate everyday creativity and encourage audiences to get involved with arts and crafts activities across the country.

Darren Henley, Arts Council England Chief Executive, wrote in his blog:

We’ve focused on ensuring that this is a diverse portfolio that will produce work relevant to the world we live in, as well as supporting fresh talent and artists from many different backgrounds and representing different perspectives. The arts, and society generally, urgently need to draw on the huge resources of our national diversity.

Robin Simpson, Voluntary Arts Chief Executive, said:

I am delighted that Voluntary Arts has secured this significant increase in its core funding from Arts Council England for the next four years and I would like to thank all the Voluntary Arts staff and Trustees who worked so hard on our funding application. It is particularly exciting to have additional funding specifically to support the development of Get Creative Festival (a merger of Voluntary Arts Festival and Get Creative Weekend) which represents a major opportunity, in partnership with the BBC and more than 500 arts and cultural organisations across the UK, to put everyday creativity centre-stage. I am mindful, however, that there are also organisations who lost funding today and others (including some of our closest partners) whose bids to join the Arts Council England National Portfolio were unsuccessful. Having been in such a position ourselves in a previous funding round I appreciate what a difficult day this will be for those organisations and Voluntary Arts will try to provide whatever support and guidance it can to them.

Find full details on the 2018-22 National Portfolio on the Arts Council England website and highlights in this investment factsheet.