Theatre Improvement Scheme

The Theatres Trust's Theatre Improvement Scheme, in association with the Wolfson Foundation, is a capital fund that awards grants of up to £20,000. The scheme will run for three years, and each year will fund projects with a specific theme. The theme for 2018 is Improving Accessibility.

Improving Acessibility applications closed on 13 September 2018. Successful projects and themes for 2019 and 2020 will be announced in due course. Sign up to our mailing list to be kept up-to-date.

In 2018 the scheme is accepting applications from projects which make their theatre more accessible through changes to the building or its systems. The scheme will fund theatres and projects of all sizes that demonstrate excellence in the pursuit of becoming an accessible theatre.

Theatres should be accessible for everyone, but the Theatres Trust and Wolfson Foundation are aware that many theatre buildings do not reach the highest levels of accessibility. Priority will be given to projects that could serve as best practice case studies to inspire other theatres. We want to fund excellent projects in excellent theatres.

Projects should serve the needs of your audience and include evidence of consultation with users and potential users of your venue.

Organisations which are currently in receipt of other awards from the Theatres Trust or the Wolfson Foundation will not be eligible.

With thanks

The Wolfson Foundation supports our Theatre Improvement Scheme, following the success of the Urgent Repairs Scheme pilot, the first collaboration between the Theatres Trust and the Wolfson Foundation.

Who can apply

To be eligible to apply to the scheme, applicants must demonstrate that they:

  • own or manage theatres with titles or signed leases of more than 5 years on buildings in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland 
  • run a year-round programme of live performance, of no less than 30 performances a year 
  • have a bona fide UK charitable or not-for-profit legal structure and be able to provide certified or audited accounts for at least two years.
  • operate theatres that achieve excellence through their producing and programming or architectural significance
Access to theatres for disabled audiences, artists & employees is vital to ensure the industry acts inclusively & fully reflects its audience. Theatre premises need to constantly evolve to meet the demands of the public regardless of the age of the building. All too often theatres are unable to employ disabled talent or accommodate disabled artists due to inaccessible offices & stages. I welcome the initiative to focus funding on those who wish to drive the agenda beyond reasonable adjustment.

Andrew Miller, Disability Champion for UK Arts & Culture