The UK arts sector suffered its undue share of repercussions during the pandemic and the freelance community persevered to keep going in whatever they could get their hands on. Amid the cost of living crisis in the UK. The government announced plans in February 2022 to redistribute Arts Council England (ACE) funding across regions in England to “level up” access to the arts. ACE published its latest funding allocations for 2023–26 in November 2022. It said 21.8% more investment would be given to regions outside of London when compared to 2018/19. Some arts organisations and parliamentarians have raised concerns about ACE’s funding distribution and the impact on leading cultural institutions. ACE announced its 2023–26 investment portfolio in November 2022.
This set out which museums, libraries and arts organisations across England would become part of ACE’s new national portfolio of funded organisations from April 2023 until March 2026. More than 1,700 organisations applied to become part of the 2023–26 portfolio. Of these, 990 were successful and set to receive a share of £446mn over three years. This includes 276 organisations joining ACE’s portfolio for the first time. Of the 990 organisations, 950 have been awarded NPO status. The remaining 40 organisations have been designated ‘investment principles support organisations’ (IPSOs). IPSOs are required to provide creative and cultural activity that delivers against ACE’s investment principles, set out in its strategy for 2020–30: ‘Let’s Create’. The 2023–26 portfolio will replace ACE’s 2018–22 portfolio, which ends on 31 March 2023. The 2018–22 portfolio was originally due to end on 31 March 2022, however ACE granted a one-year extension for 2022/23 as part of its response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
A spokesperson at Tara Theatre told Asian Voice, “A full year and more since Theatres reopened and in 2022, we thrived, executing lessons learnt, by holding each other up through challenges, celebrating each other's achievements and opening our doors generously and widely to everyone. As we continue to build back better, our communities grow stronger and more effective in advocating for change, representation & a better world. This new year, let’s keep evolving & revolutionising inclusion and access for everyone, reiterating that this is a journey, not a race and remembering the power of standing United in the face of any adversity. Together, we are better.”