Following development work by the English National Opera (ENO), Arts Council England has set a budget of up to £24million investment for 2024-26.
The company will now start the process of making an application to the Arts Council for an award up to this amount. ENO’s developing plans are based on a reimagined artistic and business model with a primary base out of London, whilst continuing to own, manage and put on work at the London Coliseum.
The provisional budget of up to £24million investment for 2024-25 and 2025-26 is to support the ENO make a phased transition to this new artistic and business model, and will include work split between their new main base and London. This will be subject to application and assessment with a decision by the Arts Council expected this summer. This funding would be in addition to the £11.46 million already agreed for 2023/24.
The shared ambition is for the ENO to be in a strong position to apply to the Arts Council’s National Portfolio of funded organisations from 2026.
Notes to editors
On 4 November 2022, Arts Council England announced its 2023-26 National Portfolio programme, made up of 990 organisations receiving their share of £446 million per year. The investment round was the most oversubscribed portfolio to date with 1,723 applications requesting over £2 billion. Decisions were driven by the Arts Council’s strategy, Let’s Create, and by a commitment to provide a fairer spread of investment across the country.
The Arts Council also delivered on the instruction from government to invest the additional funding from the spending review to benefit areas outside of London, to increase investment in the rest of the country by 2026 and to reduce its overall current investment in the National Portfolio in London (read more about the instruction). Change in the London Portfolio, including for the largest organisations, was inevitable, and the Arts Council had to make difficult decisions and choose between good, fundable applications.
Because of the demands on the Arts Council’s budget in London, English National Opera, which was part of the 2018-2023 National Portfolio, was not awarded funding in the 2023-2026 Portfolio. However, the Arts Council recognised the strength of their application and announced it would ringfence funding for ENO, outside of the National Portfolio. Arts Council initially ringfenced £17million to support the ENO through this three-year transition. Following further scoping work and discussion, the Arts Council recognised that this budget needed to be increased to enable the ENO to have a successful transition and to create a new artistic programme with work split between their new main base and London.
The Arts Council also delivered on the instruction from government to invest the additional funding from the spending review to benefit areas outside of London, to increase investment in the rest of the country by 2026 and to reduce its overall current investment in the National Portfolio in London (read more about the instruction here).