Theatres at Risk Capacity Building Programme

Theatres Trust has launched a third round of the Theatres at Risk Capacity Building Programme, supported by The Pilgrim Trust and Swire Charitable Trust.

We are aware of the challenges faced by the theatres on our Theatres at Risk Register in raising funding for the early stage concept and viability works and for organisational support. These first stages of a project provide the foundations for both project and organisation, and give necessary support to enable progress on the long journey to restore, reopen or revitalise the theatres.

The Capacity Building Programme is only open to those theatres on our Theatres at Risk Register and the community and campaign groups that support them. Local authorities who are currently involved in projects to support their local Theatre at Risk or who have a clear plans and ambitions to progress such a project are also eligible for funding.

This is not a fund that will support the capital works themselves but is intended to support the groups working with the buildings to commission expert support and acquire the skills and knowledge to push the project forward.

The type of support that might be funded includes:

  • Viability studies and options appraisals
  • Building condition surveys and structural reports
  • Business planning and fundraising strategies
  • Governance reviews

Theatres Trust will work closely with the successful applicants to develop the project proposal, assist the group with selecting experts, attend key meetings and monitor the outcomes.

Theatres Trust will agree the level of funding that the scheme will contribute up to a maximum of £25,000. Match funding is not required, however, should the overall project cost exceed the Capacity Building Programme grant proof of partnership funding will be required.

The deadline for funding applications for the Capacity Building Programme is noon on Monday 19 April. Organisations will be notified of the outcome of their applications in w/c 17 May.  

Applicants are encouraged to discuss their application with Theatres Trust Advisers in the first instance claire.appleby@theatrestrust.org.uk

Who can apply

  1. Eligibility: Works that are eligible for funding include the following: viability studies, business plans, economic impact studies, conditions surveys (incl. asbestos surveys), governance reviews etc.
  2. Organisational Set-Up: Organisations must have UK charitable or not-for-profit legal structure to apply. Local authorities will also be eligible.
  3. Ownership: It is not necessary for recipients to own or lease the theatre building, however it is necessary to have a specific ambition for the removal of the building from the Theatres at Risk Register through the restoration / reopening of the venue.
  4. Prioritisation: Grants will be prioritised according to
    1. The urgency of the project
    2. Other resources available to the applicant – those which have a narrower selection of choice will be prioritised
    3. The extent to which the grant will make a significant difference to promoting the better protection of the theatre – those that are considered to have the most impact in realising a fundamental step towards removal of the theatre from the Theatres at Risk register will be prioritised.
    4. Organisations who did not receive funding from the previous years of this scheme however previous recipients are still eligible.

For further information about eligibility and the terms and conditions for this funding please review our Terms and Conditions.

How to apply

If you meet our eligibility requirements outlined above and are happy to proceed with your application please download the application form.

For any questions or more information please email claire.appleby@theatrestrust.org.uk.

Terms and conditions

Applicants will be required to sign a Grant Agreement with The Theatres Trust Charitable Fund (Charity Registration No: 274697) which will include detailed Terms and Conditions. A summary of these are as follows:

  • Grants should be spent within one year otherwise the grant will be reclaimed.
  • No match funding is required.
  • Applicants will need to provide details to confirm their legal status.
  • Public acknowledgement of support from Theatres Trust and our funders The Pilgrim Trust and Swire Charitable Trust will be required.

Previous rounds of the scheme

Read about how we've supported theatres in the two years the scheme has been running:

Thanks to our funders

Theatres at Risk Capacity Building Programme is supported by The Pilgrim Trust and Swire Charitable Trust.

TAR capacity funders 21

Theatres at Risk Capacity Building