English National Opera and firstsite to be placed under special funding agreement outside of Arts Council’s National Portfolio

firstsite gallery. Photo: Richard Bryant / arcaidimage.com

The Arts Council announced that the English National Opera and Colchester’s firstsite gallery will not benefit from the National Portfolio three-year funding scheme for 2015-18, but will instead be placed under a special funding agreement.

Althea Efunshile, Arts Council England’s Acting Chief Executive expressed their concerns about the two organisations' governance and business model and said 'they expect them to improve or they could face the removal of our funding'. These new funding arrangements would imply a close collaboration between the Arts Council and the two companies, to rethink and restructure their business model, and to set objectives in order to monitor their progress; should this collaboration be successful, the two organisations might be able to enter the portfolio at a later date.

English National Opera will receive funding for two years, including £12.38m revenue funding per year, with an additional £6.13m of transition funding, while firstsite will be offered a one-year funding agreement, combining elements of NPO revenue funding (£814,517) and transition funding, to be confirmed. 

12 February 2015.