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BBC Performing Arts Fund awards £430,000 to the theatre sector

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Frantic Assembly, Bristol Old Vic and the Royal Exchange in Manchester are among the recipients of a BBC grants scheme that has just awarded more than £430,000 to theatres organisations around the UK.

The BBC Performing Arts Fund has awarded the money as part of its Theatre Fellowships scheme and its Community Theatre Grants initiative.

Under its fellowship scheme, 19 theatres and theatre companies have each been awarded £10,000 to host a fellow “through the early stages of their careers”.

The aim of the scheme is to help the fellows “establish themselves in the professional world through bespoke placements within existing theatre organisations”.

Frantic Assembly will host practitioner Dritan Kastrati, who called the opportunity a “unique chance” to get the support he needs to develop his ideas “with the most exciting people in the business”.

Meanwhile, Bristol Old Vic will host writer Silva Semerciyan, and the Royal Exchange’s fellow is director Bryony Shanahan.

Other organisations hosting fellows are the Derby Theatre, English Touring Theatre and the Old Vic in London.

Under the fund’s community scheme, 58 community groups have been awarded grants of up to £5,000 to “carry out training, attract new audiences, encourage new members and raise their profile in the communities”.

Recipients include Tell Tale Theatre Company in Merseyside and Spotlight Performing Arts in Lancashire.

The PAF – which receives money through phone voting on shows such as The Voice – said 78% of its recipients were based outside of London.

PAF director Miriam O’Keeffe said: “I think the arts are really important, socially. As a society it is something that can bring people together.

“We support community groups and emerging talent. The money is made available through phone voting on BBC1 entertainment shows, and we have an open applications process.”

She added: “It’s been an amazing year, looking at the breadth of theatre happening around the country.”

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