ACE grants ENO extra year of funding9:45, 12th February 2013
Arts Council England (ACE) is to extend funding for English National Opera (ENO) until 2018. The opera house will receive an extra £12.38m while remaining under special monitoring arrangements.
ACE noted that ENO had made good progress in improving its operations, but still has further work to do to ensure its future sustainability.
The funding body announced that ENO would not be admitted into its national portfolio of organisations for 2015-18 in February 2015, following a period of instability in which the company’s chairman and executive director left within weeks of one another.
The decision to award an extra year of funding follows the company’s recent appointments of Dr Harry Brünjes as chairman and Cressida Pollock as chief executive.
Although ENO remains without an artistic director (after the departure of John Berry in July 2015), the company’s recent work has received a positive reaction. Its production of The Pirates of Penzance broke UK box office records, and it received two Olivier awards at the 2015 ceremony: director Richard Jones received the ‘outstanding achievement in opera’ award, while his production of The Mastersingers of Nuremberg was deemed ‘best new opera production’.
The company has also revealed plans to open up the Coliseum’s foyer. The space will host a wine bar and cafe, which the company hopes will encourage more people to enter the building.
The ACE’s statement reads:
‘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.’
ENO chairman Dr Harry Brünjes said of the news: ‘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.
‘We are working hard to meet the long-term challenge to ensure that ENO is able to continue to produce artistic work of the highest quality whilst remaining financially stable. We are very happy to have the continued support of ACE as we tackle these challenges over the months and years ahead.’
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