John Berry, artistic director of English National Opera, has issued a quiet statement in response to the Arts Council’s decision to lop £5 million off his grant. You can read the statement below. Not many opera folk would be so measured.
‘We have been working for some time with the Arts Council to develop a new business plan which recognises the challenging funding climate and reduces the cost to the public purse, while also enabling us to create an exciting and sustainable future for ENO and maintain our artistic quality, ambition and reach, nationally and internationally.
‘We announced a number of key elements in that new business plan in April – specifically our approach to balancing commercial and public investment – and we are delighted that the Arts Council is supporting our application with the funding announced today.’
In addition to the £12.38m per annum core funding awarded today, Arts Council England has set aside transition funding of up to £7.6m to support ENO’s change to its new business model. The total sum of £44.8m available funding over three years is equivalent to the amount applied for by ENO in its NPO funding application.