Young Vic receives biggest theatre Sustain grant of £1.2m

Natalie Woolman

London’s Young Vic Theatre Company has received more money than any other theatre across all eight rounds of Arts Council England’s recession-fighting fund Sustain.

In the final round of funding announced this week, the Young Vic was granted £1,210,000, making it the second largest award through Sustain across all the arts, second only to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, which was given £1,453,000.

An ACE spokesperson said: “The Sustain award will allow the Young Vic to maintain the scale of their extensive programmes to support emerging theatre artists and help to maintain the quality of its artistic output, ambitious and strategically significant work which has been threatened by the effects of the recession.”

Other successful theatre applicants included English National Ballet, which received £879,248, Leeds’ Opera North and Northern Ballet Theatre with £800,000 and £735,000 respectively and Theatre Royal Stratford East with £290,000.

The Brewhouse Theatre & Arts Centre in Taunton was awarded £487,500. The venue is not one of the art council’s regularly funded organisations but the Sustain fund is not limited to RFOs and the Brewhouse is not the first to be awarded funding from the Sustain pot.

Paul Birch, chair of the Brewhouse Board said “I am very pleased at the arts council’s response to our application to the Sustain fund. Supporting us at all would have been wonderful but the size of the support sends a very clear message about their view of what The Brewhouse is doing, the value of the art that we are offering and the value of The Brewhouse to the economies of Somerset and the South West.

“Until the recession we were on a clear upward trend. We have tough times ahead but, with the continued support of our current stakeholders, this funding will allow us to move through that and come out the other side as a confident and successful arts organisation.”

Today marked the final round of Sustain funding, which has given one-off funding injections totalling almost £47 million to arts organisations affected by the recession since mid-2009.

ACE is still processing two remaining applications and any awards granted will be announced on the art council’s website in due course.

Looking to the future Alan Davey, chief executive of ACE, commented: “Now we must look ahead. Our experience with the Sustain programme has identified a need for the kind of support that builds resilience in the long term. We are looking in particular at addressing the needs of smaller organisations and will be announcing a specific scheme shortly.”

The Young Vic’s annual subsidy from ACE for 2010/11 is £1,593,795.

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