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Theatres Trust launches £100k Urgent Repairs Scheme fund

The Derby Hippodrome, which is in need of repair. Photo: Theatres Trust
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A new £100,000 fund to help theatre buildings in danger of closure carry out urgent repairs has been launched by the Theatres Trust.

Theatres will be able to apply for grants of up to £15,000 in order to undertake immediate repair and maintenance, which if not completed could result in closure.

It is being created in partnership with the Wolfson Foundation, which has provided £100,000 for a pilot year of the Urgent Repairs Scheme. Two funding rounds will take place in 2017.

The scheme has been designed to help smaller, regional theatres and is open to any UK theatres operating a year-round programme of live performance.

However, theatres that are not statutory listed must demonstrate the architectural significance of their building when applying.

Interim director of the Theatres Trust, Rebecca Morland, said the organisations had become increasingly aware of the challenges faced by many theatres to complete maintenance and repair work.

“When budgets are tight, theatres often find it difficult to prioritise adequate spending on repairs and this leaves them vulnerable to unforeseen circumstances. The Urgent Repairs Scheme will support theatres that can demonstrate that without such repairs their operation is placed at risk,” she said.

Venues wishing to apply for grants are advised to contact the Theatres Trust – which is managing the application and evaluation process – in order to discuss their proposals prior to submission.

Wolfson Foundation chief executive Paul Ramsbottom said he hoped the new programme would “improve the sustainability” of small theatres and “promote opportunities for excellence in the sector”.

The first funding round will close on March 15, with the awards being announced in July. A second round closes for applications on September 16, with successful bids being announced in January 2018.

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