New Funding for London Theatre Small Grants Scheme

Published: 13 August 2015
Reporter: Howard Loxton

The Mackintosh Foundation is to donate £25,000 to launch the new London Theatres Small Grants Scheme, set up by The Theatres Trust working with the Mayor of London’s Office to help small theatres in London which need to improve and maintain their buildings.

This follows the London Assembly investigation led by Tom Copley AM into the challenges facing the capital’s small theatres. The investigation found that over 75% are in need of capital investment for major repairs or upgrades, but have limited capacity to secure the funding they urgently need.

The Mackintosh Foundation is the first organisation to make a donation to the Scheme, which will now offer grants of up to £5,000 to small theatres across London. The Foundation hopes other organisations and individuals will match its contribution and help provide a much needed new injection of capital funding for small theatres in London.

Mackintosh Foundation trustee Sir Cameron Mackintosh said, “the smaller theatres of London provide an irreplaceable training ground for creative talent both on and off the stage. They are a major reason why the British theatre is the envy of the world and the West End stage delivers so many brilliant productions.

“I applaud the Mayor’s Office for having recognised the important role they play in the arts chain and the success of London and am delighted to contribute to such an essential Fund.”

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said, “London’s small theatres are of fundamental importance to the capital’s unrivalled cultural mix… they are seedbeds for the writing, production and acting talent that are crucial to the success of our city’s world-beating Theatreland.”

This donation helps build the Trust’s capital grant giving role in London but it needs more donors to come aboard to grow the Scheme and keep the small theatres of London thriving.

Tim Eyles, Chair of The Theatres Trust, said they were aware of over 100 small theatres that could benefit from this Scheme and that they anticipate a high level of demand.

Applications will be accepted until 21 October 2015 and are invited for capital projects of up to £5,000 from small independent, commercial, subsidised and amateur theatres and open air venues that have fewer than 300 seats in Zones 1 and 2 and fewer than 500 seats in outer London.

Details about how to apply can be found at www.theatrestrust.org.uk/grants