The MU has welcomed the announcement that, following negotiations with Arts Council England (ACE), English National Opera will receive £11.46m of National Lottery funding for the financial year starting 1 April 2023.
Although this money is welcome, it does still represent a 9% cut from ENO’s previous funding and only provides one year of certainty for workers and audiences.
Sufficient funding must be made available
London Regional Organiser Jamie Pullman says:
“We are pleased that English National Opera have reached an agreement with Arts Council England for the forthcoming financial year, but this leaves many questions unanswered as to the following years.
“It is vital for our members and all those who benefit from ENO's survival that sufficient funding is made available to support the retention of an orchestra and chorus who are, after all, the reason people go to see their performances.”
The announcement also follows two months of campaigning by the ENO, supported by audiences and trade unions including the MU. Please sign and share the Love ENO petition to show support for the orchestra and other workers if you have not done so already.
MPs to Arts Council England funding decisions
ACE had previously announced that ENO would be losing £12.8m from its annual funding, and was going to receive just £17m over the next three years to “develop a new business model.”
This was accompanied by the recommendation that the organisation relocates from London to Manchester by 2026 – an area already covered by Opera North, which has a presence in Manchester.
MPs will be debating this and other ACE funding decisions in a Westminster Hall debate on Wednesday 18 January.