Top image: exhibition view of the group exhibition Stuff,
Art Gene Main Gallery, 2016
(as part of the Fort Walney, Uncovered  project)

We are delighted!

Art Gene is very pleased to announce we are to be awarded Arts Council England funding as a National Portfolio Organisation for 2018- 22.

“It’s fabulous, what a relief, all the hard work has paid off. Now the hard work starts making it all happen.”

Maddi Nicholson, Founder Director, Art Gene, 2017

We would like to thank all our, communities, partners and friends who engage with our projects around Barrow-in-Furness and the Northwest, and Arts Council for their support.

Many thanks to the fabulous team here, all their continued hard work writing funding bids, wrangling with spread sheets and delivering great projects. It’s heartening to see that Barrow and Art Gene has been recognised by Arts Council for the work we do.


“We look forward to delivering some ground-breaking  projects over the coming year. Watch this space”.

Art Gene, 2017

Image above: lunch break on the Allotment Soup site – our community growing project

Congratulations to Barrow!


“More than anything it’s good for Barrow, that’s fabulous. It’s a big vote of confidence. We’re doing great work and having that recognised, being way out West can be frightening but we’ve show we can do cutting edge work in communities here, and get that acknowledged. We feel very lucky. It’s fabulous for the town”.

Maddi Nicholson, 2017


Congratulations to other the other arts organisations!


Octopus Collective, Ashton Group and Art Gene are amongst the beneficiaries, with more than £1m earmarked for between 2018 and 2022.

Glenn Boulter, one of the founders of the Octopus Collective – which runs out of Piel View House in Barrow Park – said the amount of money destined for his group, and for the town in general was in effect “a vote of confidence for the talent of the local arts scene“.


“I think that all three of us are still at the lowest end of the funding scale compared to the rest of the country but, to get funding for three companies in a small town speaks a lot about the quality of what everyone has been doing, and the Arts Council have recognised that”. 

Glenn Boulter,
(The Mail, June 28, 2017)

Rachel Ashton, artistic director for the Ashton Group – a theatre group devoted to building the prospects of young people (who are involved in every aspect of the work produced by Ashton) said:

“It’s a great relief, because there is such a squeeze on projects, we really rely on the Arts Council.”

“There are about 600 groups who get funding at this level, we’re not just competing in our own art form, but against all art forms across the country”.

Rachel Ashton, the Ashton Group
(The Mail, June 28, 2017)


Thank you, Arts Council England!

This is what they have said about making their choice to support us:

“We are delighted to support the cultural sector in Cumbria. There is a wealth of creative talent. Making and showing work for residents and visitors alike. Some of it responds to the unique Cumbrian landscape or to the concerns of local people in a creative response which resonates locally, nationally and internationally”.

Jane Beardsworth, Director, Arts Council North
(The Mail, June 28, 2017)


“Our new portfolio in the North will reach more people in more places. Culture has a role to play in all our communities from major cities to the North’s most rural areas – it brings us together, provides joy and solace, and builds a sense of identity – and contributes to our economy too”. 

“I’m delighted that we have the opportunity such a range of excellent cultural organisations delivering to audiences and participants across the North. Our increased investment will mean that these organisations will be able to deliver great arts and cultural experiences for audiences and participants across the whole area”.

Sarah Maxfield, North Area Director, Arts Council England
(The Mail, June 28, 2017)



Read the full Mail article here
(Thanks to The Mail for the quotes on this page)

© Art Gene
Tel: +44 (0)1229 825085

Art Gene

Bath Street,


Cumbria, LA14 5TY England, UK

Donate here

Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions

Registered Charity: 1135536

Registered in England: 4359454

All images, artwork and text on this website are protected by copyright and may not be downloaded or otherwise reproduced or distributed without the permission of Art Gene. © Art Gene associates, artists and partners, 2022.