Arts Council invests in space

Published: 10 November 2019
Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti

In the largest distribution of Small Capital Grants to date, £12.3 million has been awarded to 46 organisations for their buildings and equipment in order to increase their sustainability and build their businesses.

Ranging from £100,000 to £499,999, the envisaged improvement in facilities and equipment will benefit artists and audiences alike and have a positive impact on the local communities.

Performance venues and companies to benefit of these awards include:

  • Camden People’s Theatre (studio theatre, London) – £250,000 to redevelop performance and rehearsal space, increase capacity, open a new community café, improve on street presence, accessibility, resilience and sustainability. Architects De Matos Ryan have been participating in a codesign process with community groups and artists.
  • Gecko (Ipswich-based physical theatre company) – £499,999 for the creation of a new world-class theatre-making space in a disused industrial Waterfront building. The Gecko Creation Space will be fully accessible and environmentally sustainable; it will have a large studio with a sprung dance floor, a meeting room doubling as a sound recording studio and a props and set workshop.
  • Lawrence Batley Theatre (Huddersfield) – £450,000 for theatre renovations to include improved access facilities for artists, a new look foyer area, upgraded technical equipment and improved sightlines in the auditorium.

Other performance organisation to receive funding under the scheme are Hackney Empire £400,000, Half Moon Young People's Theatre £107,403, Corby Cube Theatre Trust £148,761, Northampton Theatres Trust £220,000, Nottingham Playhouse £200,000, Stoke-on-Trent & North Staffordshire Theatre Trust £353,225, Kirklees Theatre Trust £499,999, Action Transport Theatre £380,000, North East Theatre Trust Ltd £300,000, Sheffield Theatres Trust Ltd £385,250 and New Wolsey Theatre Company Ltd £395,000.

Darren Henley, chief executive of Arts Council England, said, “our Small Capital Grants programme provides organisations with vital funding to ensure that their buildings and equipment can adequately support their work. I’m delighted that we’re able to help organisations of all sizes from across the country develop more sustainable and resilient businesses through these grants, allowing them to produce even more excellent work for the public.”

The geographical distribution of funds breaks down as London £2,165,664, Midlands £2,427,380, North £3,262,135, South East £2,320,098 and South West £1,744,506.