Arts benefactors recognised by Prince of Wales

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Six leading benefactors of the arts have been awarded the Prince of Wales’ Medal for Arts Philanthropy in a ceremony in London today.

Launched in 2008, the medals recognise individuals who have made significant contributions to the arts throughout the UK during the past year.

The 2012 recipients include Lady Payne for her support of Chickenshed Theatre in her final year as the company’s president. The medal acknowledges the crucial role she played in finding a dedicated home for the north London-based company and in raising funds, its profile and activities over the past three decades. Through her eponymous foundation and trust, Lady Rayne has donated more than £60 million to a number of performing arts organisations.

Sir Peter Moores is being recognised for the activities of the foundation he formed in 1964 and which has since distributed more than £215 million to the arts, education, community and healthcare sectors. The award rewards the foundation’s Swansong Project, which will support the staging of ten Rossini bel canto operas by leading UK opera companies over the next three years.

Joint recipients Sir Gerald and Lady Elliot received a medal following donations of more than £7.5 million to the arts and humanitarian charities in Scotland during the past year, including support for the Edinburgh International Festival, Traverse Theatre and the childrens’ symphony orchestra development agency Sistema Scotland.

Two other medals will be awarded to Mathew Pritchard, grandson of Agatha Christie, in the 60th anniversary year of the opening of The Mousetrap for his support in refurbishing the library of the Cardiff-based international residential school Atlantic College, and to Sir Terence Conran for his life-long support of benchmark standards in design.

Jonathan Moulds, chair of the leadership team of the scheme’s managers, Arts & Business, said: “The arts always have and always will rely on the support of individuals. If we are entering more difficult times for public arts funding, it is vital that we continue to put in place the long lasting recognition to highlight the impact of individual support. Collectively, we must encourage others to develop their passion for the arts and inspire the next generation of givers”.