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Thursday, 22 March, 2001, 12:58 GMT
Cash boost for arts
Nigel Hawthorne
Royal Shakespeare Company will get more cash
The Arts Council of England has announced big grant rises for some of the most prestigious arts companies in the country.

The council hopes the money will reinvigorate the arts in England.

The Royal Shakespeare Company will receive an extra 3m - an increase of 24.3% in funding, and some companies have had their funding doubled or even trebled.


This is good news from the Arts Council

Chris Foy, Royal Shakespeare Company

The funding rises are part of an extra 100m a year for the arts the council secured from the government last summer.

Peter Hewitt, chief executive of the Arts Council of England, told BBC News Online: "This is the best budget for the arts for a very long time.

"We hope the funding will energise and re-invigorate the arts."

Institutions such as the Royal National Theatre, English National Ballet and the Royal Opera House will all receive extra cash

Largest boost

The council's funding rises from 252m in the current year to 337m in 2003/04, the largest boost for the arts in decades.

Arts companies will be given firm funding plans for three years, with the additional funding available from 2003.

Mr Hewitt said: "In our case to the Government last year we identified three priorities for the arts: education, theatre and core funding.

"Today we are investing a significant sum in the core funding needs of more than 200 arts organisations across all art forms.

"This substantial new funding will enable organisations to plan their work with confidence."

'High quality'

Chris Foy, managing director of the RSC, said: 'This is good news from the Arts Council. We are delighted that the high quality of our work on stage has been recognised in this way.

"The Arts Council grant is a crucial part of our funding mix."

Literature projects will receive a 75% funding increase, the visual arts a rise of 28% and dance will see a 17% rise.

Earlier this month the council detailed how it would be spending an extra 25m on regional theatres in England.

The arts body also plans to merge with the country's 10 regional arts boards to create a "single funding body for all the arts" in England.


In DepthIN DEPTH
BBC News Online looks at how the arts are funded in the UKArts funding
How the UK's cash for the arts is spent
See also:

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