Struggling English National Opera, on probation to improve its financial position, has been granted a qualified extra year of state funding. The measure, as so often with ACE, is neither here nor there. It is buried with news of a gallery in Colchester doing rather well.
From the ACE statement:
The Arts Council believes that the ENO is fully committed to achieving positive and sustainable changes to its operating model. A CEO has been appointed until 2018 to lead the company through substantial operational changes and the organisation has made good progress in restructuring the financial and operational management of the company. Progress has also been made in strengthening the organisation’s governance and leadership structure – a permanent Chair has now been recruited and Board membership is being refreshed.
Given the progress made so far, the Arts Council has confirmed an additional year (2017-18) of funding for ENO of £12.38m. The funding will provide the organisation further time to implement the necessary changes to ensure that it has a sustainable and resilient business model capable over the long term of producing and presenting excellent opera to large audiences.
From ENO’s response:
We are very happy that Arts Council England have confirmed our third year of funding. We continue to work closely together to ensure the continued financial stability of ENO. Our recent appointments to the Board and Executive Management Team demonstrate the steps the Company is taking to strengthen governance and significant work has taken place over the past year to ensure the continued financial stability of ENO.
Previously, ACE had limited ENO to £30.5m over two years of ‘special funding’ before an unspecified threat of withdrawal. ACE seems more concerned with saving face than saving art.