Wilton’s Music Hall and the Soho Theatre in London, and the Royal Court in Liverpool, are among the first venues to receive grants totalling £24,500 from the Theatres Protection Fund.
The fund was formed by the Theatres Trust in April this year and is being supported by donations of £25,000 per year over five years from both the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and producer Judy Craymer.
Under the fund’s small grants scheme, theatres run by charities and not-for-profit groups can apply for money to address urgent building repairs, introduce environmental improvements or improve accessibility.
Wilton’s, the Royal Court and the Soho Theatre have each received £5,000, as has the Playhouse in Sleaford, Lincolnshire.
Meanwhile, Oldham Coliseum has been awarded £2,500 and the Half Moon Young People’s Theatre in London has been given £2,000.
Theatres Trust chairman Rob Dickins said: “We are delighted to be able to provide valuable help at a crucial time with these projects and further recipients will be announced in the near future. This would not have been possible without the wonderful generosity of the Andrew Lloyd Webber foundation and top producer Judy Craymer. I hope that more theatre professionals will follow their lead as I really want to be able to widen the level of financial support the trust gives to theatres in need.”
Wilton’s will use the money to restore its orchestra pit and repair its auditorium floor, while Liverpool’s Royal Court will replace its safety curtain.
Sleaford’s Playhouse will put its £5,000 towards restoring the Georgian venue’s original appearance. Soho Theatre will replace its front doors, Oldham Coliseum’s grant will go towards the redesign of its box office, and the Half Moon Young People’s Theatre will use its £2,000 to help pay for a new lift to improve access.
The trust’s small grants scheme opened in May and received applications for projects totalling £140,000. Further awards will be finalised in December.