Phoenix awarded £246k NPO funding by Arts Council England

Leicester’s Phoenix Cinema and Art Centre has been awarded £246k funding over the next 3 years by Arts Council England (ACE).

Phoenix awarded £246k NPO funding by Arts Council England

Phoenix has been awarded £246k funding over the next 3 years by Arts Council England (ACE). The grant is part of Arts Council England’s 2023-26 Investment Programme that was announced on 4 November.

The funding will start on 1 April 2023, just a few months after Phoenix relaunches its Cultural Quarter venue as a 4-screen independent cinema. Central to this £8.7 million development is a superb new digital arts gallery and media wall.

Phoenix’s distinctive and forward-looking art programme explores the impact of technology on culture and society. Technological change is creating huge benefits and disruptions to society, and is revolutionising the creation, presentation, and accessibility of new forms of artistic expression for all ages, particularly the young.

Phoenix has become a hub for digital arts and creative media, pioneering new forms of creative content and supporting artists to experiment with new technologies. The grant will support Phoenix’s art programme for another three years, and will be spent on commissioning new work, supporting local artists and bringing the innovative digital arts from around the world to the new gallery.

John Rance, Chief Executive of Phoenix said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Phoenix to showcase digital arts. Our new digital arts gallery and media wall will offer larger, accessible and more visible spaces for exhibition, learning and creativity, and thanks to Arts Council’s generous support, we will be able to reach even more people from diverse communities in and around Leicester.

Peter Knott, Area Director for Arts Council England said: “Phoenix has become Leicester’s home for independent visual art and digital culture and we’re delighted to be investing in them over the next three years. We look forward to the completion of their redeveloped arts centre which will see our funding helping them to support local artists within their gallery space and develop their digital programme to increase engagement with art.”

Irina Tsokova, Digital Arts Manager for Phoenix’s arts programme said: ‘’I am very excited to continue developing our digital arts programme to offer immersive experiences utilising creative technologies, such as virtual reality for example. This funding from Arts Council England will enable us to put Leicester on the digital art map and help us partner with national and international institutions and artists, raising our profile and bringing more people not only to Phoenix, but to Leicester and the East Midlands. We have a particular contribution to make in ensuring that everyone in our local area can develop and express creativity throughout their life. We believe we can play a special role in this as an innovative cultural organisation that is international in outlook and fosters long-term collaborations with universities and other arts organisations.”

For more details please contact:

Irina Tsokova
Digital Arts Manager, Phoenix

Notes to editors

About Phoenix

Phoenix is a registered charity (no. 701078) whose purpose is to enrich lives and celebrate diversity and ambition in film and art. The Cultural Quarter venue was built as a centre of digital culture, and Phoenix’s programme comprises digital arts, independent cinema, creative learning and artist development.

The charity’s founding stakeholders are Leicester City Council and De Montfort University. Phoenix is grateful for the regular grant support it receives from Leicester City Council, Arts Council England, British Film Institute and De Montfort University.

In January 2023, the charity will complete an £8.7 million capital project to expand the venue – one of the largest investments in digital culture in the area for years.

This capital project includes a new, larger gallery for showing creative media work accessed directly from the main concourse. A large media wall at its entrance will show a programme of innovative moving image work to the concourse and café. This new gallery, alongside two new cinemas, remodelled spaces for learning and creativity, an expanded café and new events spaces, will enable a doubling of our cultural programme and audiences over five years. We also aim to expand the work we do for underserved communities, including ethnically diverse and socio-economically disadvantaged city areas.

The main capital grant funders are Arts Council England, Leicester City Council, The Foyle Foundation, The Garfield and Weston Foundation, The European Regional Development Fund and Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership.


About Arts Council England

See more on Arts Council England’s 2023-26 Investment Programme on their website:

Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high-quality cultural experiences. We invest public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision. Find out more at

Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council developed a £160 million Emergency Response Package, with nearly 90% coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support. We are also one of the bodies responsible for administering the Government’s unprecedented Culture Recovery Fund, of which we delivered over £1 billion to the sector in grants and loans. Find out more at

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