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Suffolk arts get £19.3m boost from Arts Council England grants for 2018-22

PUBLISHED: 16:25 29 May 2018 | UPDATED: 17:23 29 May 2018

Snape Maltings has been awarded the biggest Arts Council England grant in Suffolk Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Snape Maltings has been awarded the biggest Arts Council England grant in Suffolk Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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More than £19.3million is set to be distributed to museums, library services and arts firms in Suffolk over the next four years, as Arts Council England allocates the latest phase of cash grants.

Ipswich's New Wolsey Theatre has been awarded funding Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNIpswich's New Wolsey Theatre has been awarded funding Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The National Portfolio is a collective of arts-based firms given grant boosts from Arts Council England through lottery funding and grant-in-aid – cash awarded for specific schemes.

A total of 844 grants are being awarded to 831 organisations nationally from 2018-22, with 11 going to Suffolk projects.

Snape Maltings was granted the most with a £5.6m boost, while the New Wolsey Theatre Company has investment of £3.7m.

Significantly, for the first time museums and library services can be included.

DanceEast in Ipswich also received a boost Picture: MATT STOTTDanceEast in Ipswich also received a boost Picture: MATT STOTT

Suffolk Libraries has been awarded £704,000, the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket £590,016 and Newmarket’s National Horseracing Museum has been boosted by £880,000.

Suffolk Libraries will be able to launch an innovative arts and culture programme for youngsters in collaboration with arts organisation METAL.

Melissa Matthews, new arts projects co-ordinator at Suffolk Libraries, said: “The Arts Council have recognised that libraries have changed a lot, and are now more creative places, serving as community hubs that can help local people access creative and artistic experiences.

“Suffolk Libraries is really keen to get more young people involved in the library service by providing more meaningful, fun and engaging activities for them.

“This is really important as they are a group who could represent the future users of our libraries.”

Jenny Cousins, director of the Museum of East Anglian Life said: “We are absolutely thrilled to join the National Portfolio.

“It’s a real vote of confidence in the museum and its potential to do exciting and innovative programming to get people involved with culture and heritage and experience the personal and community benefits that brings.

“The Museum of East Anglian Life is a showcase for the region and we want to involve as many people as possible in making it a place which celebrates the best of what East Anglia has to offer.”

Almost three quarters of the applicants who applied for the funding were successful.

Arts Council England said: “Funding decisions were made by drawing on detailed regional knowledge, artform and discipline expertise, and a national overview, using published criteria to be consistent across the country.

“For the first time, museums, arts organisations and libraries will become part of the National Portfolio, though libraries were only able to apply for arts and museums activity.

“This will open up the possibility across the sector for interesting and exciting partnerships, benefiting the public, artists and practitioners that work across these boundaries.”

The New Wolsey Theatre and Snape Maltings have both been approached for comment.

Full list:

DanceEast, Ipswich – £3,240,612

Eastern Angles Theatre Company, Ipswich – £881,608

Gecko Theatre, Ipswich – £881,608

HighTide Festival Productions, Aldeburgh – £766,616

Museum of East Anglian Life, Stowmarket – £590,016

National Horseracing Museum, Newmarket – £880,000

New Wolsey Theatre Company, Ipswich – £3,744,416

The Robert Pacitti Company, Ipswich – £1,066,832

Russell Maliphant Company, Ipswich – £996,000

Snape Maltings – £5,612,076

Suffolk Libraries – £704,000

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