Arts Council accolade for SO Festival

The SO Festival has been recognised by Arts Council England
The SO Festival has been recognised by Arts Council England

The SO Festival has been awarded prestigious National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) status by Arts Council England

Arts Council England has today (Tuesday) announced that the festival, organised by East Lindsey District Council, has achieved the prestigious status.

Examples of other NPOs in England have included the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The announcement is recognition of the festival’s success since it began in 2009 and means SO Festival will receive funding from Arts Council England totalling £450,000 over the next three years - £150,000 per year.

The timing of the announcement ties in with the sixth SO Festival taking place across East Lindsey, with major performances in towns from June 28 to July 6.

Since 2009, SO Festival has brought around £1m into the area’s economy annually generating significant regional and national profile for the area.

The district council has been supported by Arts Council England, receiving funding for SO Festival each year since it began. Since 2009 SO Festival has developed from a three day programme focused on Skegness to a district-wide programme over nine or ten days.

Currently the council has to apply to Arts Council England for funding on an annual basis – NPO status removes that requirement for the next three years.

Area director, Arts Council England Peter Knott said: “We’re thrilled that SO Festival will be joining the National Portfolio. The festival brings world-class art to the coastal district of East Lindsey and is a much anticipated event in the area’s cultural calendar.

“At the heart of the festival is an ambition for as many people as possible to experience and enjoy great art and culture. Our investment will support the production of the annual ten-day event and a new programme of year round activity that increases opportunities for artists, local communities, children and young people.”

Portfolio holder for culture, leisure and tourism Adam Grist said: “The council is extremely pleased that SO Festival has been awarded NPO status by Arts Council England.

“The decision by Arts Council England is recognition of our hard work and commitment to developing a cultural offer in East Lindsey through the festival programme.

“I look forward to working alongside Arts Council England, and our other major funding partners, going forward to ensure we deliver a high quality festival that provides a boost for businesses and a great experience for local people and visitors to the area.”

For more information about SO Festival visit