Doorstep Arts, a homegrown theatre and arts company, in residence at the Palace Theatre  Opens in a new window in in Paignton, has become the first organisation based in Torbay to become part of the Arts Council’s National Portfolio - the collection of leading arts and cultural organisations that receive regular funding and form the backbone of the Arts Council’s work.

Doorstep Arts is among 103 organisations in the South West that will be in the Arts Council’s National Portfolio for 2018-22, announced today.

This investment in Torbay recognises the cultural transformation underway in the region and builds on the investment already made by the Arts Council and The Heritage Lottery Fund through the Great Place Scheme, as well as Arts Council’s support for the Torbay Culture Board.

Doorstep Arts will receive £382,000 over the next four years to develop their excellent work with children and young people in the area. Doorstep Arts run drama groups across Torbay at schools, youth clubs and church halls, creating safe and educational spaces for young people to explore arts.

They are also a member of nationally renowned Battersea Arts Centre’s Collaborative Touring Network which brings inspiring theatre performances to expected and unusual spaces across Torbay and creates opportunities for regional theatre-makers and performance platforms for local theatre groups.

Torbay’s Elected Mayor, Gordon Oliver said: “This is wonderful news for Doorstep Arts and for Torbay and is most welcomed. We have seen many positive changes in the Bay over recent years and cultural activity can be extremely powerful on social, economic and environmental levels. It can also help to transform communities impacting positively on health and wellbeing.”

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Doorstep Arts into the National Portfolio.
“Doorstep Arts has a strong track record of touring theatre around Torbay where there has traditionally been a lack of arts and cultural infrastructure. They demonstrate a commitment to providing artistic opportunities for children and young people, reaching people who often don’t have the chance to experience arts and culture and building creative aspirations and prospects. We are very much looking forward to working with them to build on this existing work and create an even stronger network of art and culture for Torbay.”

These awards are just one strand of Arts Council England’s total investment in arts and culture during 2018-22, which also includes the National Lottery-funded Grants for Arts and Culture scheme and strategic funds which will be used to support targeted programmes of work that deliver the ambitions set out in Great art and culture for everyone, Arts Council England’s 10-year strategic framework.

The National Portfolio will have 831 arts organisations with £409 million being invested per year. An additional £42 million per year (£170 million over four years) will be spent outside London between 2018 and 2022.

Arts Council England has also announced National Lottery-funded Capital awards. Four arts and cultural organisations in the South West will share a total of £1.3million which will help to give them the best buildings and equipment to deliver their excellent work.


Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. We invest public money from government and the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

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