More than £50 million has been given to arts groups, including the Birmingham Royal Ballet, to help them build up endowment funds to meet day-to-day running costs.

Money from the Government's Catalyst: Endowments fund will be shared between 34 groups including the Halle Concerts Society in Manchester, the Arnos Vale Cemetery Trust in Bristol and the Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Also benefiting are the Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle, County Durham, and London's Old Vic Theatre.

The 34 groups that will share the £56 million will only get the money when they have raised set amounts themselves.

The applications were assessed by an independent panel chaired by former Cabinet minister Michael Portillo.

He said: "The Advisory Panel was impressed with the calibre of the applications we saw. I believe those we recommended for approval are well-placed to secure match funding from donors, and to build endowments which should strengthen their future financial resilience."

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said boosting private giving to the arts was "key" to their long-term financial stability.

In a wide-ranging speech ahead of the announcement, Mr Hunt also said it was "criminal" not to teach children "an appreciation of culture" and announced the publication of a national cultural education plan later this year.

He said more than £15 million would be allocated over three years to fund the plan's proposals.

It follows a review by Classic FM boss Darren Henley that asked ministers to consider making it compulsory to study the arts up to the age of 16 and described cultural education in England as "patchy".