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South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership awarded NPO status and almost £2m Arts Council England funding

The South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership is delighted to have been awarded National Portfolio Organisation status for the first time - securing just under £2m to support art, culture and creativity across the Partnership.

The prestigious status awarded by Arts Council England has seen funding of £1,955,799 allocated for 2023-2026 to help support arts and cultural organisations across South Holland, East Lindsey and Boston.

It will also support the creation of cultural centres at The Guildhall in Boston, Ayscoughfee Hall in South Holland and the Colonnade in Sutton on Sea and fund a programme of art and culture across the Partnership centred on the rich heritage and stories from each district. Education, research and skills programmes will also be developed, giving more people access to culture on their doorstep.

The NPO comes after Boston and East Lindsey adopted a new cultural framework which sets out an ambitious vision for culture, connecting heritage and the visitor economy while recognising the health and wellbeing benefits culture brings to people's lives. The Partnership is committed to extending the Cultural framework into South Holland too.

Competition for the status was extremely high, with 1,700 applications made nationally from organisations, venues and providers.

In total, 990 organisations will receive a share of £446 million (each year) ensuring that more people in more places have access to fulfilling art and culture.

As well as the NPO for the Partnership, The SO Festival, Magna Vitae Trust for Leisure and Culture's flagship cultural event in East Lindsey has also been awarded Arts Council England funding and secured its place as a National Portfolio Organisation for the third time running https://www.sofestival.org/so-festival-npo-2022/

Cllr Craig Leyland, Leader of East Lindsey District Council said: "Achieving NPO status andalmost £2m for our communities to better access culture is genuinely a monumental achievement for the Partnership.

"The Partnership has a proven track record of working collaboratively, including in the arts and culture sector across our three districts. This funding will help support them, as well as the health and wellbeing of our residents who will have more access to events and culture and support the local economy."

Lord Gary Porter, Leader of South Holland District Council said: "Being part of the National Portfolio investment programme and the funding awarded will create new opportunities for our residents, community groups and organisations and support Ayscoughfee Hall in Spalding as a central hub. 

"The heritage of South Holland is what shapes this district and we should all celebrate the stories which have built our communities. Going to any event, whether it be a drama group, show or festival, can really help improve health and wellbeing. I am pleased this funding will help our residents access even more things to do on their doorstep."

Cllr Paul Skinner, Leader of Boston Borough Council said: "This is a fantastic achievement for the Partnership and Boston. The town is built around its history and has so much to offer for local and international visitors.

"This funding will help tell those stories to a wider audience and support our community-driven cultural providers as we lead up to the milestone of Boston 2030 and the internationally opportunities that will present to celebrate the town's heritage."