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Arts organisations awarded £30 million to help fundraising

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Arts Council England has announced awards to venues including the Palace Theatre Watford, Hackney Empire and Sadler’s Wells worth a total of £30 million today.

The money is being distributed through ACE’s Catalyst programme, which is aimed at helping cultural organisations to increase their fundraising potential. Overall, 173 organisations have been given more than £30 million to develop their fundraising capacity and make themselves more attractive to potential donors.

The funding stream announced today is specifically for organisations looking at capacity building and for match-funding schemes.

Northern Stage Company in Newcastle is to receive £179,000 to “invest in research, front-line training and to strengthen and develop its in-house skills” and Yorkshire Dance will be given £132,000 to raise money to increase its artistic output. Other theatre beneficiaries include Polka Theatre, Opera Rara, Soho Theatre, Thames Festival, Candoco Dance Company and Battersea Arts Centre.

There are two other Catalyst streams. The first is designed to help large organisations to build endowments, and the successful applicants to this £55 million pot will be announced next month. Meanwhile, a £7 million programme aimed at cultural organisations with little or no fundraising experience that want to improve their capability to raise funds will open this autumn.

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “There’s huge, unlocked potential for fundraising across the cultural sector. While some claim that there’s no money to be raised outside big London organisations, I’ve seen for myself what professional, dedicated fundraising expertise can deliver in every corner of the country. We recognise there’s a challenge in making sure the right skills are available, particularly in smaller organisations, which is why these grants are a huge leap towards a future of greater financial independence for hundreds of smaller arts groups from Cornwall to Cumbria.”

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