South Western Federation of Museums and Art Galleries

Arts Council England NPOs announced for 2018-22

Arts Council England has announced its National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) for 2018-22, and we’re delighted to hear that there were successes in the South West. Our partners, South West Museum Development Programme received a renewal of their NPO status, which is fantastic news for the sector in the South West. The organisation supports museums in the region to achieve sustainable improvements and maximise their benefits to audiences and communities. Please visit for more information.

The announcement also saw Bristol Museums (15% reduction in funding), Royal Albert Memorial Museum, and Cornwall Museums Partnership (22% funding increase) have their NPO status renewed.

New museum sector NPOs in the South West included Poole Museums (on behalf of Wessex Museums Partnership), SS Great Britain, The Tank Museum and Plymouth History Centre.

There was good news for several organisations who work closely with the sector in the South West, including Arts & Health SW, Real Ideas Organisation, Pavilion Dance SW, Libraries Unlimited South West, Association of Independent Museums, Collections Trust, Culture 24, and Kids in Museums.

Several organisations lost out, including the Arnolfini and The Architecture Centre. Nick Childs, Chaire, Architecture Centre, said: “We have been very grateful for the Arts Council’s support over recent years. It has enabled us to grow into a robust and effective organisation, unique in what we do. We completely understand the decision to re-allocate funds to other emerging organisations who can benefit in the way we did.”

There was an increase of NPOs for 2018-22, with 29 organisations joining the portfolio. There were 177 applications from the South West, with 103 being successful.

Anna Bryant, Chair, SWFed said: “It’s great to see these organisations receive NPO funding and we look forward to working with those in the heritage sector, and those who want to collaborate with the sector. Well done to all organisations who received funding, and I’d like to thank all the SW heritage organisations who weren’t successful but put so much time and energy into writing applications.

“It’s important that museums, galleries and heritage organisations in the South West are given further investment, so that they can thrive and benefit an array of communities and people of all backgrounds. The South West is geographically diverse and the sector needs funding to be able to cater for people in all locations. The SWFed is committed to supporting organisations in the sector to become financially resilient. Arts Council England NPOs are from a range of cultural sectors, and we encourage cross-sector collaboration – we can help connect people and organisations from outside the heritage sector with our members.”

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England said: ‘This is an exceptionally strong portfolio of organisations delivering great arts and cultural experiences to audiences throughout the South West.

“We are delighted to have increased our investment across the South West, building on a successful and established portfolio by adding innovation and rewarding artistic boldness. We are very excited about the next four years and look forward to working with all the organisations to help them to take art and culture to more people and more places than ever before.”