Birmingham & Black Country

Arts Council invests £215m in 76 West Midlands groups

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Media captionArts Council funding boost for West Midlands groups

A total of £215m has been pledged to 76 arts organisations across the West Midlands by Arts Council England.

Tourist attractions and community groups are among those to benefit from the funding.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has been granted £880,000, which bosses say will be used to reach wider audiences.

Birmingham-based One Dance UK will receive the highest investment of £3m, while British Ceramics Biennial in Stoke-on-Trent will receive £700,000.

In a move to fund more regional organisations, 25 new groups will receive funding between 2018 and 2022.

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Image caption The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust will receive £880,000

Some organisations have faced cuts to their funding but none have lost out completely.

The Royal Shakespeare Company has lost 3% of their previous investment but will still be granted just under £60m.

The Arts Council said in a statement it is pleased to be investing in projects that "will benefit local people".

The region will see an overall increase in spending of 8% with the annual sum paid to arts organisations rising from £49.6m to £53.5m.

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Image caption The Lapworth Museum holds 250,000 specimens, ranging from dinosaur skeletons to volcanic rocks

The Lapworth Museum in Birmingham is one of the new organisations to benefit and has been granted £418, 984.

Director Jon Clatworthy said it's been a "fantastic year" for the museum which has just celebrated one year since its reopening as well as a nomination for Museum of the Year.

The geology museum will be using the investment to diversify its audience and develop digital technology in exhibitions.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-Upon-Avon is another receiving Arts Council funding for the first time.

Chief executive Diana Owen says the Trust will spend the money "directly on activities to reach out to more people than ever before".

Organisations to get funding include:

  • National dance body One Dance UK, based in Birmingham, to receive £3m
  • Culture Coventry to receive £1.6m
  • Association of Independent Museums, Shropshire, awarded £1.2m
  • Black Country Touring, Sandwell, awarded £573,988

Peter Knott, area director for Arts Council England said: "The Midlands already boasts a vibrant cultural scene with an international reputation for excellence and we look forward to seeing more great art and culture being enjoyed by more audiences in more places.

"Arts and culture plays a vital role in making the area a great place to live, work and study and we're pleased to be investing in projects which will benefit local people and their communities."

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