Liverpool’s Homotopia art festival has been granted funding for the next three years.

The annual art and culture event will receive £70,000 a year for the next three years from Arts Council England.

Homotopia was one of 1,300 organisations which applied for the funding. It was initially judged to be ineligible but organisers complained and the claim was reassessed.

Homotopia director Gary Everett said: “Over the last eight years we have grown from an annual local arts festival into an organisation delivering a national and international programme of arts, social justice and education initiatives 365 days of the year.

“I believe this funding acknowledges the exceptional quality of the art we deliver and the valuable work we do to tackle hate crime, bullying and prejudice through our award winning Project Triangle. It reflects our commitment to increasing social cohesion through our engagement with diverse communities, young people and the elderly who would often otherwise feel excluded from arts venues or gay culture.”

He added: “With this support and the continuing support of Liverpool City Council we can engage with more artists, writers, producers, dancers and performers to reach new communities.”

A spokesperson for Arts Council England said: “Through our national portfolio Homotopia will make a valuable contribution to the vibrant festival offer in England, especially in Liverpool where they form part of a strong festival calendar which celebrates the diversity of the city’s communities.”

Homotopia started in November 2004 with a handful of arts events. Until last year, it was Liverpool’s only LGBT celebration. Previous participating artists have included Sarah Waters, Nigel Charnock, Sadie Lee, David Hoyle, Gary Clarke and Armistead Maupin.