Arts Council funding for our Football Creates initiative

The National Football Museum has been awarded National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) status by Arts Council England with its Football Creates initiative.

Using the National Football Museum’s unique position as the country’s only cultural organisation telling story of England’s national game and as custodian of the largest public collection of football objects in the world, Football Creates uses the unrivalled power of football to engage people and communities in creativity, to champion inclusion and improving wellbeing.

A key outcome of Football Creates is the Creative People project to upskill and develop people working and volunteering across the sector. Through a seasonal programme of workshops, festivals, and special exhibitions the project will develop a collective of freelance creatives, volunteers, and participants, helping build creative careers and enable potential through the theme of football.

The £1 million funding, spread over three years, will also enable the National Football Museum to develop the Football Creates Resource Centre in Preston. Home to over 40,000 objects and archives, investment will fund targeted programming to enhance access and interpretation of the collection, especially focusing on groups with low engagement in culture and creativity.

Tim Desmond, CEO of the National Football Museum said: “For many people across the world football is culture, and we are delighted that we have now become an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. This will allow us to invest in ‘Football Creates’ to provide more creative opportunities for our visitors in Manchester and Preston and expand our engagement through activations across England.”

‘Football Creates’ is a key part of our five-year transformation plan and pays testament to social impact and purpose of the game of our lives. We look forward to building new partnerships and supporting creativity across the sector, for the benefit of our communities now and leaving a meaningful legacy for generations to come.”

John Brewer, Chair of the National Football Museum added: “Nothing connects people like football and our NPO status demonstrates the power it has to drive creativity and engage wider audiences.  As we mark 10 years in Manchester, thanks to Arts Council England we can expand our reach and commitment to represent diversity, giving equal opportunity for all to access and enjoy football culture.”

Through the 2023-2026 Investment Programme, Arts Council England are boosting spending in arts, museums and libraries in villages, towns and cities where investment is currently low. 990 organisations will receive a share of £446 million investment per annum, including 276 new NPO institutions.