The British Paraorchestra and artistic director Charles Hazlewood

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Arts Council England has announced a plan to increase funding for the arts across the country, with £170 million more going to organisations outside London.

The council is increasing the number of organisations it funds from around 700 to 831. One of the new organisations to be added to the portfolio is the British Paraorchestra, which is based in the South West of England. 'This is a major moment for our work, and the significance cannot be overestimated,' said artistic director Charles Hazlewood. 'We're proving once and for all that disability is no barrier to talent.

English National Opera, which was dropped from the national portfolio in 2015 due to financial concerns, has been readmitted. 'This decision reflects the hard work and sacrifice made by every single person across the organisation,' said chairman of ENO Dr Harry Brunjes. 'Their commitment has allowed us to build a sustainable business model, and one that I am confident will allow ENO to grow and prosper. A thriving, busy, competitive opera scene in the UK is vital if opera is going to continue to develop and flourish.'

Arts Council England invests money from the government and the National Lottery to support arts and culture across England.

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