Arts Council Funding Decisions – Disappointments for MPA and for Lancashire

Wednesday 30 March

Mid Pennine Arts announces today that it has not been successful in its bid for Arts Council portfolio funding for the three-year period from April 2012.

The Pennine Lancashire organisation was bidding for funding from central government alongside 1330 arts companies across the country. The Arts Council announced all results at 10am this morning. Only half the applicants have been successful, as the Arts Council implements a projected 29% cut in its funds.  MPA is one of 206 established clients to lose support.

MPA has been responsible for leading major projects like the Panopticons series of new landmarks, which has won national awards and attracted national and international attention to Pennine Lancashire. The Panopticons are featuring on two national TV programmes this spring.

MPA Creative Director Nick Hunt said:

“We are very proud of MPA’s work, a long history of achieving extraordinary creative results while working in some of the UK’s most deprived communities. So of course we are deeply disappointed by the Arts Council decision.

MPA’s funding, however, is secure for the year ahead, and we have some very exciting projects taking shape. In June we launch the second commission in the Contemporary Heritage series at Clitheroe Castle. Projects led by young people – the Project Pride series supported by Heritage Lottery Fund – are just kicking off in three Pennine Lancashire towns. There is much more in store, and while the coming year’s programme unfolds we will also be planning for how we operate in the future.

MPA has been active for 45 years and was here before the Arts Council’s North West operation. It represents a partnership approach to enriching the cultural life of our communities, and that will be ever more vital in these tough times. MPA has navigated major changes in the past, and this news represents a fresh challenge for our exceptional team to rise to.

We are grateful for the past support of the Arts Council, and the stalwart support of Lancashire County Council and all our many project partners.

Today we are also thinking about the bigger picture. Congratulations to the companies who have been successful.  There is great news here for some very deserving groups, like our friends at More Music, Burnley Youth Theatre, Spot On, Curious Minds, The Grundy, Art Gene and more.  We are delighted for them.

Our thoughts, though, are mainly with the many excellent arts organisations across England who have heard the same bad news. This includes too many of our colleagues and friends across Lancashire, where culture makes a huge contribution to public life, economy and tourism. It is a sad day for the arts.’


If you require further information please contact Philippa Roddam, Marketing Coordinator on 01282 421986 ext 205 or email

One response to “Arts Council Funding Decisions – Disappointments for MPA and for Lancashire

  1. >A sad day indeed but you are right to focus on the exciting work you are driving forward now. The new commission at Clitheroe Castle is going to be amazing!