Arts Council England renews support for Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre with £210,800 annual funding

Attenborough Arts Centre, the University of Leicester’s arts centre, will benefit from £210,800 funding from Arts Council England to continue providing a range of cultural programmes as part of the city’s cultural ecology. 

Today (4 November), Arts Council England has revealed details of its new national portfolio of funded organisations for 2023-26. In total, 990 organisations will receive a share of £446 million (each year) ensuring that more people in more places can find fantastic, fulfilling art and culture on their doorsteps.

Attenborough Arts Centre is among those organisations to benefit from renewed funding from Arts Council England, worth £210,800 per annum. This generous support will maintain and grow the diverse range of events and activities that has allowed Attenborough Arts Centre to champion inclusive cultural programmes in Leicester for a quarter of a century.

The centre, in Lancaster Road, has been a dynamic cultural venue since the building was opened by Richard Attenborough and Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997.

Its upcoming programme caters for all sections of the community, in keeping with the centre’s ethos, which was summed up by Richard Attenborough. Speaking at the centre’s opening in 1997, the lifelong champion of arts and social justice said: “Art is not an elitist gift for a few select people. Art is for everyone.”

Kerry Law, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Professional Services at the University of Leicester, and Chair of Attenborough Arts Centre’s Advisory Board, said: “We are delighted that Arts Council England has chosen to continue funding the work of Attenborough Arts Centre as a National Portfolio Organisation from 2023-26. This supports the University's commitment to culture and our ongoing mission to celebrate the creativity of everyone in society.”

Andrew Fletcher, Director of Attenborough Arts Centre, said, “This backing from Arts Council England ensures that Attenborough Arts Centre can continue to provide a high profile programme of visual arts, performance and learning programmes delivered in partnership with the University of Leicester, our partners and communities. This news enables us to move forward confidently as a socially and civically-engaged cultural venue which puts inclusivity at the heart of contemporary artistic practice.” 

Peter Knott, Area Director for Arts Council England said: "Attenborough Arts Centre provides dance, music, visual and performing arts in the heart of Leicester and we're delighted to be investing in their work over the next four years. It'll be great to see our funding help Attenborough Arts Centre to engage with children and young people and also commission new work by disabled artists, which will be toured and shared across the country, for everyone to enjoy."

In addition to performances, events and art installations, Attenborough Arts Centre runs extensive Learning programmes for people of all ages which recorded over 20,000 attendances last year. This includes regular free weekend activities for families and a wide-ranging Creative Courses programme where people can learn or further develop their artistic skills with everything from pottery to creative writing to Tango. There is also a popular events and activities programme for students, alongside programmes which bring artists together with academics and researchers from the University of Leicester to forge innovative new collaborations which promote and amplify the world-leading research taking place in the city.