Grant means Derby Theatre “more secure” than ever

Published: 16 November 2013

Derby Theatre has been awarded a total of £164,000 by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to support the development of its work as a learning theatre.

There will be a particular focus on supporting emerging artists, developing creative skills and working with community groups.

In 2012 Derby Theatre started a three-year project to develop a learning theatre pilot programme. The objectives were to engage the creative ability of Derby communities and to nurture existing and emerging talent in the region.

Significant developments can now go ahead and related projects can be implemented thanks to the Esmée Fairbairn grant.

The theatre’s artistic director Sarah Brigham said, “I’m delighted that the Esmée Fairburn Foundation has decided to support Derby Theatre to this level.

“Derby Theatre is unique: we now produce home-grown professional produced theatre of quality and combine this with learning opportunities for the next generation of artists.

“We’re thrilled that this highly-regarded foundation has recognised our proposition as an innovative way forward and are supporting the core of our business alongside the Arts Council and the University of Derby.

“With this funding we are now even more secure than we ever have been and the future looks very bright indeed. I look forward to welcoming even more audiences, participants and artists into the building.”

The Arts Council gives £307,666 annually to the theatre while the university’s funding amounts to £500,000 per year.

Professor John Coyne, chair of Derby Theatre and vice-chancellor of the University of Derby, added, “This core funding of £164,000 reflects very well on the current team, their artistic vision and their links to communities locally and the industry nationally.

“It’s also an endorsement of the aims of the learning theatre model.”

Steve Orme