The Theatres Trust

5 London theatres awarded vital funding to improve accessibility and working conditions

7th December 2016

Theatres Trust, the national advisory public body for theatres, have announced five small theatres in London will benefit from the second round of its London Theatres Small Grants Scheme. The awards have been made to theatres in need of immediate repairs, addressing accessibility issues and improving conditions for staff, performers and audiences. Recipients include Soho Theatre, Theatre Peckham, Tricycle Theatre, Young Actors Theatre and Omnibus.

The scheme was launched in Summer 2015 by Cameron Mackintosh’s Mackintosh Foundation in partnership with the London Mayor’s Office, to help small theatres in the city with vital capital funding. In Spring 2016 Fawn James joined the Mackintosh Foundation as the second major donor to the London Theatres Small Grants Scheme, ensuring that 50 grants will have been given out to small London theatres by 2020.

Established out of a former library, Omnibus, a new and developing arts centre in Clapham, will use the grant to help improve climate control in two performance spaces improving conditions for audiences. Theatre Peckham, moving into their new £2.4m community theatre opening in Southwark this month, will further improve its accessibility for disabled people and ensure good signage for all, whilst the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn will install much needed accessible shower and toilet facilities within a backstage dressing room as part of their larger capital project. Theatre school and talent agency for children the Young Actors Theatre based in Islington will concentrate on urgent roofing repairs, refurbishment to basement toilets and dressing rooms and Soho Theatre’s new installation of a fire shutter will allow increased accessibility for people with disabilities accommodating more wheelchair patrons in each performance space.

Interim Director at Theatres Trust, Rebecca Morland says: “Three quarters of small theatres surveyed as part of the London Assembly’s report into the needs of small theatres in 2013 said they needed to significantly upgrade or repair their buildings but 93% had yet to raise the money to carry out the work. Theatres Trust’s London Theatres Small Grants Scheme was born as a response to this, with the focus on improving the operational viability of a theatre, introducing environmental improvements as well as enhancing physical accessibility. Small grants like these actually end up making an immensely powerful difference to small theatres.”

Applications for Round 3 of the London Theatres Small Grants Scheme are now open. The application deadline is 22 August 2017 and eligible applications will be reviewed by Theatres Trust in October 2017. For more information on eligibility and to apply, visit: theatrestrust.org.uk/grants/london-theatres-small-grants-scheme

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