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Cumbria celebrates significant arts and culture funding boost

Cumbria celebrates significant arts and culture funding boost Tullie House Museum (Source:

THIRTEEN arts and culture organisations across Cumbria are set to receive a significant investment boost from the Arts Council England.

It forms part of a £43.5m investment in Levelling Up by Arts Council England, with around 900 organisations being named within the new national portfolio (NPO).

This significant investment in the region is a vote of confidence, which enables organisations across Cumbria to plan with certainty for the years ahead – with the funding running from 2023 to 2026.

One of the big winners in the region is the Cumbria Museum Consortium (CMC). CMC is a partnership between three of the county’s leading heritage organisations, Tullie House Museum Trust (Tullie House), The Wordsworth Trust (Wordsworth Grasmere) and Lakeland Arts (Abbot Hall and Lakeland Museum, Blackwell – the Arts & Crafts house, Windermere Jetty Museum).

The Consortium has been awarded a grant of over £1.1 million per year, shared between the three organisations, with the funding becoming available in April 2023.

Michael McGregor, Director at Wordsworth Grasmere, said:

“This is great news for Cumbria. With another three years of Arts Council England funding the Cumbria Museum Consortium can continue to provide people and communities with inspiring creative opportunities, give them access to culture wherever they are and enhance their health and wellbeing. In doing so we will make Cumbria an even better place to live, work and visit.”

Cumbria celebrates significant arts and culture funding boost

Under ambitions to level up arts and culture, funding for the North as a whole has risen 25 per cent, with Cumbria seeing an increase of 13 per cent.

The Octopus Collective in Barrow-In-Furness and Rosehill Arts Trust in Copeland have received a leap in funding, which will be critical in supporting local cultural activities, creating jobs, attracting visitors, and boosting the local visitor economy.

It will be the first time that Signal Film and Media in Barrow-In-Furness has been successful as a National Portfolio Organisation. The charity offers access to free digital media facilities, professional tutoring and hands-on experience in film and creative digital media industry. The funding will have a major impact on how they move forward and provide wider access to the arts.

Jo Lappin, Chief Executive at the Cumbria LEP, said:

“The LEP fully recognises the importance of arts and culture in helping to make attractive and vibrant places to live and work. This investment from Arts Council England provides much needed financial certainty to our creative industries and arts and cultural organisations, allowing them to effectively plan for the future and develop their offer.

“In an uncertain economic climate this is a really important investment and an endorsement of the excellent organisations operating here in Cumbria across the breadth of the sector and geography.”

Colin Glover, Chair of Cumbria LEP Creative and Cultural Sector Panel, said:

“Creative Industries and Cultural organisations make a significant contribution to our local, regional, and national economies. They improve health and wellbeing for residents and visitors and really do change lives.

Cumbrian cultural organisations have worked hard to achieve this success and I am delighted that Arts Council England has provided a continued sound financial foundation to enable organisations to build on their success and grow the cultural vision for Cumbria, England’s natural capital of creativity and culture”.

Cumbrian organisations to benefit from the funding are:

  • Art Gene Limited
  • Cumbria Theatre Trust
  • Eden Arts
  • Grizedale Arts
  • Highlights Productions
  • Kendal Brewery Arts Centre
  • Lakes Arts Festivals Ltd
  • Octopus Collective Ltd.
  • Prism Arts
  • Rosehill Arts Trust
  • Signal Film and Media
  • The Ashton Group Theatre
  • Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery

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