Arts Council England (ACE) have announced that £24 million will be made available for English National Opera (ENO) to apply for to fund their activity in 2024-2026, in a joint statement released today..
We welcome this announcement which represents a significant increase in funding compared to ACE’s initial offer in November, which has been achieved through the campaigning efforts of Equity members, others in the workforce and the public engagement with the ENO’s 'Love ENO' campaign.
However, funding at this level still marks a significant real terms cut to ENO’s regular funding and is still being given on the condition that the company develop a primary base outside London which will come at a huge cost to the workforce.
The campaign to save our ENO and protect ENO jobs is not over.
Equity will continue to fight for a funding model which protects the freelance and permanent workforce based at the London Coliseum, who have built their lives and livelihoods around their work in London.
The ENO and its workforce have demonstrated huge success in bringing Opera to new audiences, and making world class Opera affordable and accessible to all. Public funding of Opera across the country should not come at the cost of working class Londoners, or Equity’s London based workers.
Dividing and dismantling a company which is currently working effectively is costly and unnecessary when ENO has shown the ability and willingness to bring its excellent work outside London via touring and other outreach activities.
ACE should not be forcing the ENO to relocate, without first having undertaken a proper Opera strategy which should include consultation with the workforce itself and our campaign will continue.