ARTS Council England have announced that Liverpool’s Royal Court will become a National Portfolio Organisation from April 2018. The recently renovated theatre will now have the same national status as other venues in the city such as Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse. As an NPO at Band 1, Liverpool’s Royal Court will receive annual revenue funding from the Arts Council of over £225,000 per year until 2022. Kevin Fearon, the Executive Producer at the Court, said: “This announcement a huge landmark for us. When we first got here in 2005 the building wasn’t in great shape and, as much as people enjoyed coming here for gigs, they remembered their feet sticking to the floor and drinking warm cans of beer from the bar. We wanted to keep that amazing night out feeling but make the building a much nicer place for people to come. That first production of Brick Up showed that there was a whole new audience out there who wanted to come out for a great night out and we wanted to give them somewhere that they could really enjoy. “We have been described as mouthy outsiders and noisy neighbours but this recognition by Arts Council England means that we will now be able to come to the table with other Liverpool venues when it comes to planning the future of culture in this city. We are looking forward to it!” Gillian Miller, Chief Executive of Liverpool’s Royal Court, has been responsible for raising the money for the renovation and has been key to this successful bid: “This announcement is transformational for the theatre and is an incredible achievement for everyone who has been part of the Royal Court’s remarkable journey over the last ten years. It shows that the Arts Council believe that culture should be widely accessible and we are very grateful for their support. The status of NPO will allow us to broaden our community involvement, widen our participation programmes and help to make the theatre more sustainable and resilient. Basically it will give us a whole new lease of life and help to safeguard the theatre for future generations to enjoy. Jane Beardsworth, Director North, Arts Council England said, “The redevelopment of the Royal Court in Liverpool over the last few years has brought another dimension to the theatre scene in Liverpool and has brought a new audience to theatre. We had previously supported it with a £2 million grant from our capital programme. Its application to join our national portfolio showed inventiveness and ambition and we’re pleased to support it.” Other Liverpool organisations funded through the National Portfolio are: Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, Liverpool Biennial, Culture Liverpool, Homotopia, The Black-E, 20 Stories High, Africa Oye, DaDa Fest, FACT, Open Eye, Sound City, Bluecoat and the Unity Theatre.