Major UK orchestras took a funding hit as Arts Council England (ACE) announced its long-awaited funding decisions and named the arts organisations on its new national portfolio. All orchestras, ballet and opera companies who were previously supported by ACE had their funding renewed, but the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra were among those who received a funding cut of 11 per cent.

Several orchestras had larger cuts as ACE, which received a 29.6 per cent cut in its grant-in-aid from government, passed on 15 per cent of cuts to the arts as a whole. The London Sinfonietta and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment both saw their ACE funding cut by 14.9 per cent. English National Opera and the Royal Opera House also had their funding reduced.

But there were some winners among the established orchestral names. The Britten Sinfonia saw its core grant increase by £100,000, and the Academy of Ancient Music (AAM) secured public funding for the first time in its 37-year-history. It will receive more than £500,000 between 2012 and 2015. The English Concert and the Aurora Orchestra also won funding, joining the AAM on the national portfolio.