Bush Theatre and Hackney Empire awarded venue repair grants

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London’s Bush Theatre and Hackney Empire are among those venues that have been awarded funds in the second round of the Theatres Trust’s small grants scheme.

Both theatres will receive around £5,000 each, which the Bush Theatre will use to install new boilers and improve its heating system and Hackney Empire will put towards repairing the front facade of its building and making the roof extension watertight.

The Theatres Protection Fund, which is open to professional and amateur venues run by charities and not-for-profit groups, provides money for urgent building repairs, environmental improvements and enhanced accessibility.

In this round, a theatre in Wales has been awarded funds from the scheme for the first time. The Wyeside Arts Centre, Builth Wells will receive £5,000 for urgent repairs to its north riverside elevation.

Meanwhile, the Robin Hood Theatre in Newark-on-Trent has been awarded £5,000 towards urgent electrical rewiring needed to reopen and restore the venue and the Royal Court Theatre, Bacup in Rossendale will receive more than £2,000 for building repairs to its backstage areas.

Arts venue the Citadel in St Helens will also receive around £2,500 to upgrade its degraded exterior promotional boxes.

The Theatres Protection Fund launched earlier this year and is supported by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and producer Judy Craymer, through donations of £25,000 per year over five years from both of them.

Mhora Samuel, director of the Theatres Trust, said: “I’m delighted that we are able to help these six theatres with small grants from the Theatres Protection Fund particularly as the competition has been so strong.

“Since we started in May 2012 over 55 theatres have applied with projects totaling £225,527 - but we only have £50,660 to distribute this year.”

She added: “The support from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and Judy Craymer has been fantastic and made a real difference. Now we really need the help of others who would like to make a donation to the fund and play their part to protect our much-loved theatres.”

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