ACE-funded organisations now raise more than 50% of income from ticket sales

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Theatres and arts organisations currently funded as part of Arts Council England’s national portfolio now raise more than half of their income from ticket sales, educational work and catering.

ACE’s most recent annual report reveals that in 2012/13 it had 695 NPOs. It states that these NPOs earned 52% of their income from ticket sales, educational work and catering, up from 49% in 2011/12. The figures for 2013/14 will be available later this year.

Overall, ACE funding amounted to 27% of income for national portfolio organisations in 2012/13, with 12% coming from sponsorship and philanthropy, and 9% coming from local authority and other public grants. This was down from 12% in 2011/12.

ACE chairman Peter Bazalgette described local authority funding as “critical to the national infrastructure” and added: “We understand the pressure local authorities are under, and we’ve been working with them to show what the arts can bring in terms of investment, jobs and tourism.”

He said that NPOs raising half of their income through ticket sales meant they were “leaner and more business-minded than ever before” and that they have been “working hard to diversify their revenue”.

In total, ACE said it spent £612,273,623 on arts and culture through both its grant-in-aid (money from the government) and Lottery-supported projects in 2013/14. Theatre received the most, with £132,182,050. Dance received £50,443,799, with music getting £94,894,272.

ACE has also announced aims to boost equality and diversity within the organisations it funds. This includes providing advice to NPOs to help drive applications from under-represented groups. ACE also said it had commissioned a review into the barriers that people with “protected characteristics” – as defined by the Equality Act 2010 – face when engaging with arts and culture.