Arts Council rekindles funding for Orange Tree with £75k grant

Orange Tree artistic director Paul Miller. Orange Tree artistic director Paul Miller. Photo: Mark Douet
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Richmond’s Orange Tree Theatre has received a £75,000 funding injection from Arts Council England – the venue’s first major grant from the funding body since its annual funding was dropped in 2014.

The money from the Catalyst: Evolve fund aims to help theatres and arts organisations with little experience of fundraising to attract more philanthropy. Other venues receiving funding include Kneehigh, Norwich Theatre Royal and Derby Theatre.

Administered over the next three years, the new £75,000 award for the Orange Tree aims to boost the venue’s fundraised income by 159% before the end of June 2019.

The theatre was dropped from ACE’s national portfolio in July 2014, receiving a final award – to cover the costs of transitioning away from the portfolio in 2015/16 – of £125,000.

Responding to the new funding, artistic director Paul Miller said he was “thrilled” the theatre’s efforts over the past two years had been rewarded with the grant.

He described the money as a “vote of confidence” from the Arts Council, and added: “It’s going to make an enormous difference to our ability to raise crucial funding over the coming few years.”

The theatre’s chair Richard Humphreys explained that ACE match-funding and the ability to take advantage of Gift Aid would “more than double” the value of donations the venue receives.

The Catalyst: Evolve programme gave 140 arts organisations a share of £17.5 million, including 26 theatre companies, which each received a grant between £75,000 and £150,000.

Companies receiving the full £150,000 include Derby Theatre, Talawa, Theatre Peckham, Norwich Theatre Royal, Tamasha, Black Country Touring, Red Earth Theatre and the Pacitti Company.

A full list of theatre organisations in receipt of the funding is below.

Catalyst: Evolve fund beneficiaries

Theatre Peckham – £150,000
Coney – £75,000
Little Angel Theatre – £135,000
Orange Tree Theatre – £75,000
Tamasha Theatre Company – £150,000
The Yard Theatre – £85,000
Theatre503 – £85,564
Talawa Theatre Company – £150,000
Theatre Centre – £75,000
Black Country Touring – £150,000
Pentabus Arts – £98,890
Red Earth Theatre – £150,000
Derby Theatre – £150,000
Citadel Arts Centre – £141,050
Quarantine – £127,584
Tutti Frutti Productions – £149,870
Action Transport Theatre Company – £107,000
Eclipse Theatre Company – £125,000
Cast – £149,952
Pacitti Company – £150,000
The JMK Trust Theatre – £75,500
Norwich Theatre Royal Trust – £150,000
Rifco Arts – £120,000
Circomedia – £76,500
Kneehigh Theatre – £140,000
Travelling Light Theatre Company – £105,652