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Gulbenkian awarded £1m funding package from Arts Council England

Gulbenkian, the University of Kent’s arts centre, has been awarded National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) status by Arts Council England. The award includes a funding package of £1,095,076 over a 4 year period (£273,769 per year). 

This funding supports projects run by, with and for children and young people, including the award-winning bOing! International Family Festival and ART31 – Gulbenkian’s Kent-wide project to connecting young people with opportunities in the arts. 

Gulbenkian Director, Liz Moran said: 

“This is brilliant news for us we really appreciate the investment from Arts Council and in particular the increase to develop the ART31 cultural leadership project with even more young people in Kent. We are pleased to see so many organisations in Kent receiving NPO funding and look forward to working in partnership with them.” 

The funding announcement comes at a time when the University of Kent is launching its new Cultural Strategy, increasing the profile of the arts across its Canterbury and Medway campuses, as well as its European postgraduate centres. 


The University’s Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Denise Everitt said ‘This is great news for the University and all those who enjoy the Gulbenkian’s cultural activities, facilities and programmes, many of which are on the cutting edge of their genres. It also demonstrates the Arts Council’s confidence in and support of Gulbenkian at a time when arts funding faces many challenges nationally. I am also delighted for Gulbenkian’s operations team and of course Liz Moran, who, through her new role as Director of Arts and Culture, will be overseeing the delivery of our Cultural Strategy and co-ordinating cultural activity across the University.’ 

Gulbenkian first achieved NPO status in 2014-2017 and the success in this funding round reflects the impact that Gulbenkian has had over the past 3 years. 

The bOing! International Family Festival launched in 2014 and has seen audiences grow from 2,500 in its first year to over 11,000 in 2016. The festival brings together the most inventive practitioners creating theatre for families, attracting companies from across Europe. The 2017 festival takes place across the University campus on 26&27 August and welcomes performers from The Netherlands, Finland, Portugal and Norway as well as across the UK. 

ART31 is a county wide project in partnership with Kent County Council, supporting young people to access the arts, learn new skills and create their own high quality events. In 2017 ART31 launched, a website aimed at 13-25 years olds in Kent, promoting events and providing a platform for sharing ideas.

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