LGBT group succeeds in challenge against ACE funding decision

Natalie Woolman

Liverpool festival Homotopia has been granted core funding and National Portfolio status by Arts Council England following a complaint by the organisation.

The company, which programmes an annual arts festival celebrating “21st century LGBT/Q life”, registered a formal complaint following the announcement of ACE’s funding decisions at the end of March.

According to the arts council, 28 complaints were filed by cultural organisations unhappy with the National Portfolio assessment procedure. Three of these were upheld and ACE’s assessments of those companies were re-run. Only Homotopia succeeded in gaining funding at this stage.

A statement issued by ACE explained: “After a rigorous process, which followed the procedure established by the original application and assessment process, two of the decisions remain unchanged. We will continue to talk to the organisations affected and discuss other funding and support that may be available to them.

“We are however pleased that Homotopia, who were initially incorrectly deemed ineligible, have now been offered funding through the National Portfolio. Homotopia will make a valuable contribution to the vibrant festival offer in England.”

Homotopia has been awarded £70,000 annually from 2012 to 2015 by ACE.

Gary Everett, Homotopia’s director, said: “Over the last 8 years we have grown from an annual local arts festival into an organisation delivering a national and international programme of arts, social justice and education initiatives 365 days of the year. I believe this funding acknowledges the exceptional quality of the art we deliver and the valuable work we do to tackle Hate Crime, bullying and prejudice through our award winning Project Triangle.”

ACE received 1,333 applications from arts organisations for National Portfolio funding beyond April 2012. Support was offered to 695 of these companies.

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