Reading Organisations Recognised with National Portfolio Status

READING is celebrating once more after three organisations in the town received National Portfolio (NPO) status for the first time.

Readipop, CultureMix, and Reading Town and Country Museum Partnership (RTCMP) received grants from NPO worth £1.7m over four years, giving Reading three NPO funding organisations and a big boost as Reading moves towards becoming a major cultural destination.

Art Council England’s (ACE) National Portfolio provides regular funding for organisations across the UK that have long-term commitments to meeting their strategic objectives including excellence thriving and celebrated in the arts, museums and libraries and giving everyone the opportunity to be inspired by and experience the richness of arts, museums and libraries.

Councillor Sarah Hacker, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Culture, Sport and Consumer Services said:

“I am delighted that we now have gone from having no organisations to having  three organisations in the town with NPO status. The status will bring a wealth of opportunities to the three organisations, as well as providing the town with real potential to become a regional cultural hub.”

The RTCMP – a partnership between Reading Museum and Museum for English Rural Life – aims to create opportunities to experience heritage that builds a sense of place and identity for Reading and its surround communities. The partnership was awarded £249,999 every year for four years, which will be shared across the two museums.

Kate Arnold-Forster, Director of the Museum of English Rural Life at the University of Reading, said:

“The University is delighted to be supporting this partnership between The Museum of English Rural Life and Reading Museum, placing the museums at the heart of shaping new opportunities for Reading communities to benefit from this new NPO investment. RTCMP looks forward to working closely with other cultural partners to enable Reading communities to engage creatively with its unique and important cultural heritage.”

CultureMix, a group dedicated to the awareness of participation in carnival arts and music, was awarded £360,000 through the National Portfolio over the four year period, which will enable them to focus on a high quality artistic programme of carnival arts and music combined with talent development. They also plan to offer training and work experience to young people who want to work in the creative industries and continue supporting the development of RASPO – Reading All Steel Percussion Orchestra as professional performers at carnivals around the UK including Notting Hill.

Mary Genis, the artistic Director at CultureMix, said:

“I am delighted as this is a real opportunity to make a difference to the lives of young people in Reading and enable many more to have carnival arts and music in their lives.”

Readipop, a music and arts charity, has also received £360,000 over the four year period to develop and deliver their high quality projects that bring diverse musicians, artists, performers, participants and audiences together to create engaging and inspiring experiences for all.

Co-Founder and Creative Director of Readipop, Gavin Lombos, said:

“This is amazing news for Readipop and amazing news for Reading. This is the arts equivalent of being promoted to the premier league. This means we can focus on doing the best work to support and develop musicians from all backgrounds and develop Readipop Festival into a nationally significant event. Next year we can really celebrate our 20th birthday!  

We’re also now part of network of three National Portfolio Organisations in Reading which can only help boost creativity in the city.”


Notes to Editors

CultureMix is a Reading based not-for-Profit Company dedicated to raising awareness of the benefits of participation in carnival arts and music through education, entertainment, experiences and employment for all sectors and ages locally, nationally and internationally.

The new wave of National Portfolio Organisations will be funded from April 2018 to March 2022. In all, 831 organisations will receive a total of £1.6 billion over four years for 844 projects. More information about the National Portfolio is available here.

Victoria Nickless

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