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Published 14 November 2022 at 2:57pm

What Arts Council England’s Investment Programme will mean for South Yorkshire

  • In South Yorkshire we are increasing our funding by £1.8 million per year through the Arts Council’s Investment Programme, which supports a national portfolio of cultural organisations
  • Through this programme we will be investing a total of £21.2 million in South Yorkshire over three years from 2023-2026
  • More people across South Yorkshire will have the opportunity to take part in creative activities and enjoy high-quality cultural work
  • This investment will go to 25 organisations in South Yorkshire, including Sheffield Theatres and Site Gallery in Sheffield, Barnsley Civic and Brass Bands England in Barnsley, Doncaster Museums and CAST in Doncaster and Grimm and Co and ROAR n Rotherham
  • Six organisations in South Yorkshire are new to our Investment Programme. They include LUNG in Barnsley, Utopia Theatre in Sheffield and Rotherham Museums and Galleries
  • We want to create a national portfolio that is more representative of the country in terms of geography, audiences and workforce and so we are offering additional investment to four organisations in South Yorkshire that are currently in the portfolio. They include Barnsley Civic and Grimm and Co in Rotherham.
  • We are investing in organisations that support and develop work for children and young people and in skills development, which represents a long-term investment in our country’s talent
  • The Investment Programme is just one of the ways we support arts, culture and creativity. Since 2018 to date, through all our funding schemes, we have invested a total of £73 million in South Yorkshire

National portfolio organisations in South Yorkshire
We are investing more across South Yorkshire so that more people will have access to a wider choice of exceptional art, culture and creative opportunities on their doorstep.

We are increasing our investment in places in South Yorkshire where cultural investment and opportunity has previously been too low. Newcomers to the portfolio in Barnsley include LUNG and Gary Clarke Company, both of which create compelling performance that is inspired by their communities.

Acclaimed dance artist and choreographer, Gary Clarke, who grew up in Grimethorpe, now leads a contemporary dance company producing high-quality cutting-edge dance theatre with a strong track record of widening access and increasing opportunity for less engaged communities.

Also in Barnsley, we are offering additional funding to Barnsley Civic to support it to work with more communities across Barnsley. We are increasing our investment in Brass Bands England, which promotes, represents and supports brass bands across the country, and in the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance which is a national membership organisation for organisations working to use creativity and culture to transform health and wellbeing.

In Doncaster, we are continuing to support CAST, which presents world-class performing arts alongside providing opportunities for local and regional artists to research and develop their ideas. We are also maintaining our investment in Darts, an organisation that make high-quality, inclusive, creative experiences across the borough which are open to everyone, particularly those who have the least access to the arts.

We are renewing our support for those world-leading cultural organisations that are based in Sheffield, such as the inspirational and award-winning Sheffield Theatres, international contemporary art space Site Gallery and independent publisher of innovative contemporary writing from around the world And Other Stories. We are welcoming into the portfolio Utopia Theatre, a Sheffield-based national and international touring theatre company whose work fuses African and Western performing traditions.

In Sheffield we are also maintaining our investment in Music in the Round, which is a leading national promoter of chamber music, internationally recognised experimental theatre company Forced Entertainment, visual arts organisation Arts Catalyst and Yorkshire Artspace which provides studio space for over 160 Sheffield-based artists and makers.

We want to invest in more opportunities for children and young people from early years through to young adulthood, and to follow that through with investment to support creative skills, nurture talent and develop new creative career opportunities.

Rotherham Museums joins the portfolio at an exciting time for the borough. With strong connections to the surrounding communities and provision for learning they have a proven track record for inspiring young people using their collections. We are increasing our investment in Grimm and Co, in recognition of their acclaimed work supporting children and young people with their confidence and writing in a truly astonishing and inspirational setting in the centre of Rotherham.

Museums and libraries are an important part of our national portfolio and, by bringing Rotherham Museums into the portfolio, we now invest in museums services across all local authorities in South Yorkshire, including Barnsley, Rotherham, Sheffield and Doncaster. Barnsley Library Service joins the portfolio, offering a range of exciting library and literary activities across its 15 sites. At the heart of its service is Lightbox, a state-of-the-art library and a dynamic community hub with spaces for workshops, dance, music-making, technology and creativity.

Other investment
The national portfolio awards are one strand of our total investment in arts, culture and creativity. Through another strand, the Creative People and Places programme, we aim to transform access to arts and culture in places where engagement is low. We support two Creative People and Places projects in South Yorkshire, Right Up Our Street in Doncaster and Flux in Rotherham.

Pete Massey, the Arts Council’s Northern Economy and Partnerships Director, said:
“This investment will have a huge impact on the lives of people across Yorkshire and the Humber, helping to bring culture into the heart of more communities across the region, and giving more people the chance to enjoy fantastic creative and cultural activities where they live. Creativity boosts the region’s economic growth, creates jobs, brings communities closer together and offers comfort and enjoyment, and we’re delighted to support all of the organisations that will form our national portfolio for the next three years.”

The full list of organisations in South Yorkshire which will be part of our national portfolio in 2023-26 is as follows. (Those new to the portfolio are in bold):

AA2A Limited
And Other Stories Publishing CIC
Arts Catalyst
Barnsley Civic Enterprise Ltd
Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council (Barnsley Library Service)
Barnsley Museums
Brass Bands England
Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance CIC
darts (Doncaster Community Arts)
Doncaster Heritage Services (Doncaster Museums)
Forced Entertainment Ltd
Gary Clarke Company Ltd
Grimm & Co
Invisible Flock Co
LUNG Productions CIO
Music in the Round
PIPA (Parents & Carers in Performing Arts)
Rotherham Museums, Arts & Heritage

Rotherham Open Arts Renaissance (ROAR)
Sheffield Museums Trust
Sheffield Theatres Trust Ltd
Site Gallery
Utopia Theatre Limited
Yorkshire Artspace Society Ltd

A full list of all the national portfolio organisations which will be funded in 2023-26 can be found on our website here:

For more information please contact:
Julie Leather, Head of Advocacy and Communications
07795 110219

Fiona Davidson, Officer, Advocacy and Communications
07872 416711

Nathan Dean, Media Officer
07872 416691


Last Updated: 14/11/2022

Published In: Arts, Culture, Heritage, Featured