The Art House is happy to announce that we will continue to be a part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio of Organisations for 2023-26. This core funding is an important source of income for us and will enable us to continue delivering for Wakefield and our creative community. We had some lovely feedback in our assessment, noting our ‘strong leadership role in supporting the vibrancy and health of the local creative ecology’, our ‘exemplary provision’, ‘ground-breaking’ work with asylum seekers and the ‘community hub’ nature of our building.
This was a highly competitive round and we want to send our support to the many fine organisations that did not receive funding. We applied for an uplift to our NPO funding which, unfortunately, was not successful. This means we will continue to receive the same amount as we have over the last four years, taking into account inflation this represents a real-term cut, the implications of which will become clearer over the coming days.
Anyone familiar with The Art House will know that we have transformed over the last four years, tripling turnover and increasing footfall from 5,000 people a year to 25,000, not to mention the myriad of different ways that we now support engagement and social impact, particularly for artists and communities who have been traditionally marginalized. Our creative work is innovative, people-centred and delightfully entrepreneurial. Over the last funding period, we generated £4 of additional income for every £1 of NPO investment. In 2017, our NPO represented 80% of our turnover. It now represents 25%.
We are incredibly proud of how The Art House has evolved over the last four years, and of the important role that we now play in both the creative and wider Wakefield communities. We are obviously disappointed that we didn’t receive an uplift. But we also are committed to continuing our work and exploring the ultimate role that an arts organisation can play in its community. We believe that role is quite radical.
We know that the most important thing we need to succeed is our community – our staff, studio holders, resident artists, partners, trustees, stakeholders, audiences and others. Together we will continue to co-create and innovate creative solutions to seemingly intractable problems. Here’s to the next three years.
– Sydney Thornbury, CEO, The Art House