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Derby Theatre has been awarded £923,000 of Arts Council strategic funding, which ACE East Midlands had indicated, a few months ago, had been ring-fenced for Derby and is therefore a step closer to realising its ambition of becoming one of the region’s leading arts organisations. The funds, which are being boosted by a contribution from the University of Derby of up to £1.5 million over the next three years, will be used to support the Theatre’s
Learning Theatre Pilot Programme.
This much-welcomed news comes after months of Derby Theatre working closely with Arts Council England (East Midlands) and a ‘panel of experts’, all high profile arts professionals from the theatre industry, to discuss and plan, in great detail, the best way forward for the future life of Derby Theatre, as one of the key arts organisations in the city.
Over the next three years, Derby Theatre’s aim is to launch, develop and monitor the success of a Learning Theatre Pilot Programme with the following objectives: secure Derby Theatre as a public cultural asset for Derby and the East Midlands and bring high quality professional theatre artists and companies to present and produce work in Derby. Also, to become a national exemplar for education and training in theatre and provide the University of Derby with a distinctive proposition for students looking to study arts-related subjects, engage the creative ability of Derby/shire communities, embrace and nurture existing and emerging talent in the region and to ensure the financial viability, via all these strands.
Gary Johnson, (General Manager, Derby Theatre) said: “Derby Theatre is delighted that Arts Council East Midlands has decided to award us with strategic funding of £923,000 over three years. We are extremely grateful for their guidance over the past few months in helping us to realise the potential for the funding and how it can be best put to use – for the benefit of the venue, our audiences, our students and our stakeholders – and we very much look forward to working even more closely with them over the next three years”. (see FULL statement at the end of the release). With news on the funding, we are pleased to announce that we will work to a three-year programme which will see:
- The appointment of an Artistic Leader at Derby Theatre, who will be key in programming exciting and diverse seasons of productions and participatory programmes at Derby Theatre
- Produced professional theatre on the Derby Theatre stage (3 in-house productions per year)
- Continued, and the forging of, relationships with associate artists and companies, making Derby the creative base for the development of new productions, which will be launched in Derby
- Connections with education and skills training in schools, colleges and, of course, the University, to support the development of both artistic and technical skills
- Support for local emerging companies and artists, including associate relationships, community engagement programmes to enable a wide range of people to participate in the Theatre’s work, with a particular emphasis on opportunities for children and young people
- A continuing relationship with the amateur theatre community
Peter Knott (Regional Director of Arts Council East Midlands) said: “Derby Theatre, with the help of some of country’s leading theatre experts, has worked hard to put a compelling case to the Arts Council for funding.
"I’m delighted that we are now in a position to fund Derby Theatre to ensure the city will be the hub for a wide range of creatively ambitious theatre. This will be theatre made in Derby for local audiences."
Derby Theatre is, of course, delighted with the funding news and extremely optimistic about what the future holds for the venue.