The council decided in July last year to change its system of grant funding and provide cash to organisations for three years, mirroring the system introduced by the Arts Council. The aim is to provide organisations with “greater stability”.
From the published list it appears that over this first three year period the council is going to be providing grants worth over £7.5 million. Of that total, over £5.5m (73.7%) is going to the top four applicants (in terms of cash allocated): Opera North, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Northern Ballet and Leeds Grand.
(See comments below on likelihood that funds for the Grand include grants to Leeds City Varieties and Hyde Park Picture House)
Applications were judged against criteria which included the following: reach; target audiences; performance against the council’s “four cultural objectives”; financial stability; realism of costing; alternative funding sources and opportunities; equality; diversity and safeguarding policies; programme and commitment to the city.
The council’s four cultural objectives are: “spot, nurture and retain talent; remove barriers to enable all to participate in cultural activity; contribute to the distinctiveness of the cultural offer in the city; inspire the communities of Leeds and be inspired by them”
The results of a survey carried out with the council’s Citizens’ Panel were also used to assess the applications and allocate the grants. Panel members were asked what they would like to see happening in Leeds in 2012.
A report on the funding published on the council’s website said the grant scheme was “significantly oversubscribed”, with the new approach attracting a much broader range of organisations and individuals proposing an “exciting mix of ideas”.
“Leeds Metropolitan University are working with the Council to develop simple yet effective measures for the social and economic value of the programme,” the report says.
The report did not say how many organisations applied for funding but failed to be allocated a grant.
On the council’s website it says that the Chief Officer Libraries, Arts and Heritage has approved the grants, but that its current status is “for consultation”. A final decision is expected on 30th March, it says.
All will be revealed.
Here’s the list.