£99,000 ACE funding for six North East venues

Peter Lathan

A grant of £99,000 from Arts Council England will support new theatre in six North East venues from the Tees Valley to Alnwick.

The funding is to support REACH II, the second phase of a strategic touring project, which, in its successful first phase, enabled eight venues across the North East to present nine touring shows, develop a supportive network, build audience development skills and increase arts engagement in their respective towns.

AEC Stockton takes the lead in the project, which also involves Saltburn Community Theatre and Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre in the Tees Valley, as well as Alnwick Playhouse in Northumberland, Arts Centre Washington in Sunderland, Bishop Auckland Town Hall in County Durham and The Witham in Barnard Castle.

The programme will support six new pieces of work to tour to the six venues over the next three years.

A showcase event at ARC this autumn will allow the venues to select the first two shows from a range of contemporary theatre from around the UK, which will then visit their venues next year.

Annabel Turpin, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of ARC said, "we are delighted to be supporting the six venues during the second phase of this transformational project. This funding will enable the success of the first phase to continue, and we hope to see more audiences in the Tees Valley and wider region experience and enjoy quality new theatre."