Dance UK income nearly doubles despite loss of all ACE funding

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Advocacy body Dance UK has nearly doubled its income in the past two years, despite losing all its regular Arts Council England funding in 2012.

In 2011/12, the last year it was included within ACE’s group of regularly funded organisations, the company generated almost £340,000. For 2013/14, the body’s budgeted total income is more than £660,000.

Following the loss of this money – around £175,000 annually – the organisation has launched a strategy focusing on working with partners to secure its future.

Dance UK director Caroline Miller said she had “no idea” if the organisation would survive its loss of funding, but the only option was to “embrace change, no matter how frightening”.

The organisation has attributed its increased income to ticket sales from producing more events and prioritising funding for specific projects. It has secured ACE catalyst funding of £110,000 over two years for a new head of development, plus trainee fundraising positions that will be shared with other dance organisations. It has also been awarded £335,000 of project funding for two years through ACE’s Grants for the Arts scheme.

Miller said: “Dance UK is completely transforming the way we work. All our activities are now delivered working in partnership with other specialist organisations and our company members.

“At a time when resources in the arts are under huge pressure, the only way of creating a financially sustainable future for much-needed support services is to create a new collaborative working model, which will streamline activities, reduce duplication and make the most of financial and staff resources that are available.”

The organisation aims to work with groups including Youth Dance England, the National Dance Teachers Association, Dancers’ Career Development and the Association of Dance of the African Diaspora on all future projects.

Dance UK has also announced it will host the biggest cross-industry conference ever to be held in the UK in April 2015, in which dancers, choreographers, teachers and companies will come together to discuss issues ranging from health provision to policy change.

A mentoring programme for teachers, which will enable 40 applicants to learn about leadership from high-profile mentors, is being launched as well.

Meanwhile, the organisation has issued a call to arms for help to run a campaign, called Dance Vote 2015, that will encourage politicians to pledge their support for the sector in the lead-up to the next general election.