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At the heart of English folk

Arts Council England National Portfolio funding

The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) has welcomed the recent announcement of funding for 2015-18 by Arts Council England which confirms its National Portfolio Organisation status for a further three years.


EFDSS has been awarded £1.3 million over three years, (£432,046 per annum for 2015 to 2018), a yearly increase of £130,308 on the 2014/15 grant. The increased funding has been awarded to support the development of two new initiatives over the next three years:

  • Creation of a national youth folk music ensemble*, offering opportunities to young musicians across the country (following on from sector consultation undertaken in early 2014)
  • Audience and donor development programme facilitated by the installation of an internal box office system at Cecil Sharp House

EFDSS will also continue to develop the activities of its artists’ development, education, events and digitisation programmes. Such activities include national learning and participation projects for people of all ages; commissions, creative bursaries and international exchange programmes for professional artists; and performance and family events programming at our venue, Cecil Sharp House in Camden, North London.

The funding from Arts Council England represents less than 30% of EFDSS’ overall turnover.


“We are so excited that ACE is supporting these new developments and the development of our programme as a whole.  It is a real endorsement of our work and signifies the high and positive profile that the folk arts now have in the cultural landscape of England.”
Katy Spicer, EFDSS Chief Executive

Towards a National Youth Folk Music Ensemble

*Download our consultation report (PDF) produced for EFDSS by Sound Connections in March 2014. From autumn 2014 we will be embarking on an exercise to map current youth folk music provision across England.

To express a view or get involved, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Since its inception, EFDSS has been supporting artists and practitioners, engaging people in folk arts activities, and raising the profile of English traditional folk arts. This is currently achieved through programmes of performance, participation and education at EFDSS’ London venue, Cecil Sharp House, and with a wide range partners across the UK and overseas.

EFDSS is increasingly developing projects to support the creative development of artists and expanding their opportunities for performance.

EFDSS’ library and archive, the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, is the national folk music library and archive - serving as a valuable resource for anybody working in the folk arts.


National Youth Folk Ensemble

National Youth Folk Ensemble


Donate now

There's never been a better time to donate to EFDSS - between now and 2019 your donation will be matched by Arts Council England!