Arts Council status for The Phoenix

Karen Neville

Whitehall Town Council

The Phoenix Theatre & Arts Centre in Bordon has been awarded National Portfolio status receiving funding for the next three years

The Phoenix Theatre & Arts Centre has gained prestigious Arts Council status with the award of National Portfolio status.

Arts Council England announced earlier in November The Phoenix would be a National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) and receive funding that is awarded less than 1,000 arts organisations across the country.

Funding for the next three years will provide the Bordon centre with a massive boost at a time when many organisations in the arts sector are struggling to survive.

The Phoenix has been chosen for this prestigious status due to its dedication and skill at bringing the arts into the local community and working with young people and disadvantaged groups.

Rob Allerston, Director of The Phoenix said: “With this decision Arts Council England has recognised the hard work of many and our drive to deliver community-focused arts in Whitehill& Bordon. Personally, I’m excited by the opportunities this will unlock and the creative voice it’ll offer to so many.”

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England said: “Arts Council England is delighted to be welcoming The Phoenix Theatre & Arts Centre into the 2023-26 National Portfolio. This welcoming venue is an important part of Hampshire’s cultural life, and we are pleased to be investing in it. The Phoenix has a strong track record of facilitating creative opportunities for local artists. As well as their programme of live events. This funding helps us to achieve the ambition of our ten-year strategy, Let’s Create, particularly around supporting people to develop their creative skills and potential.”

The announcement means it will receive revenue funding of £81,233 a year for three years. Bringing financial security to deliver the diverse mix of entertainment and community arts projects.

Cllr Richard Millard, Leader of East Hampshire District Council which supported the application, said: “We’re huge supporters of The Phoenix Theatre & Arts Centre and the incredible work they do, to bring art to the people of Whitehill & Bordon and the surrounding area.

“This is the first time East Hampshire has had a venue with NPO status and it will put the town, and the wider district, on the cultural map.

“I am thrilled we’ve been able to help Rob and his team put together a successful application against such fierce competition from arts venues of all sizes right across the country.”

Cllr Andy Tree, County Cllr and Leader of Whitehill Town Council, said: “This is a well-deserved reward for the hard work of all those involved in running The Phoenix and a great boost for the town of Whitehill & Bordon. This funding will enable an expansion of the issue-based work that is central to so much of their valuable contribution to the local community and further justifies the financial support that the town council has given through its Major Grand aid award. I’m very proud that Whitehill & Bordon will have the only organisation in East Hampshire with NPO status.”

With this year’s NPO designations, Arts Council England has focused on making certain as many people as possible – no matter where they come from or what their circumstances – can get hold of the very best of art and culture on their high streets and in the community spaces of their villages, towns and cities.

The latest round of funding will benefit art organisations, museums, and libraries in every corner of the country, with clear focus on ensuring that investment is concentrated in those places that, historically, have been undeserved.