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London Theatres Small Grants Scheme gets £125k cash injection from Soho Estates

The Bush Theatre. Photo: John Hunter The Bush Theatre. Photo: John Hunter
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London property company Soho Estates is ploughing £125,000 into the London Theatres Small Grants Scheme, enabling a further 25 venues to carry out repair works.

The money will fund the scheme until 2020 and means at least 25 small-scale London theatres will receive grants of up to £5,000 for upgrade or repair work.

Soho Estates becomes the second major donor to the Theatres Trust scheme, following Cameron Mackintosh’s foundation, which supported the first year of the initiative with £25,000 of funding.

The first five grants were recently allocated to venues including the Bush Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre.

Soho Estates director Fawn James said the donation reflected a continuing commitment to London’s arts scene from Soho Estates, which first acquired buildings in the area in the 1970s.

She said: “Small theatres are often the genesis for bold and innovative productions, helping to foster the next generation of talented artists, and provide an important role in local communities. If we want London to remain a world leader in arts and culture, we have to make sure that small theatre can thrive.”

The scheme was set up by the Theatres Trust in 2015 to help small venues in London, following a report that found 75% of small theatres in the capital are in need of significant upgrade or repair work. The report also found that not completing such work could have a direct impact on the theatres’ future.

Announcing the new donor, Theatres Trust chair Tim Eyles said: “Every time we’re able to announce a new donor to the London Theatres Scheme we’re helping to secure the future of live theatre across London. So many small theatres are working on such tight budgets, they struggle to make improvements to their buildings – and we know how these grants can make a huge difference.”

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