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Lloyd Webber pumps £100k into BAME training schemes

Frantic Assembly's Ignition programme encourages engagement in theatre from young men aged 16 to 20. Photo: Helen Maybanks Frantic Assembly's Ignition programme encourages engagement in theatre from young men aged 16 to 20. Photo: Helen Maybanks
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More than £100,000 has been awarded to black, Asian and minority ethnic trainee schemes by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation to address the “hideously white” theatre industry.

The money was awarded as part of a series of grants by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, totalling £606,933 to 17 organisations.

Following the foundation’s publication last year of a report that criticised the lack of diversity in the theatre industry, the grants focus on increasing access for BAME groups and communities as well as arts education and participation.

BAME arts charity Creative Access has received £45,000 to provide a training programme for paid interns. £30,000 was awarded to theatre company Rifco for a career development programme for British Asian artists aged 20 to 26.

Tara Arts and Hoxton Hall Trust, which received £30,000 and £18,000 respectively, will offer trainee positions in technical theatre, directing, sales and marketing.

The largest figure, £211,723, was awarded to the Brit School over three years to support their Bridge Theatre Company, a free year-long course for students who have completed sixth-form.

Madeleine Lloyd Webber, lead trustee of the foundation, said: “Recognising the importance of equipping artists from all backgrounds with skills, experience and support is vital to achieve diversity and accessibility across all levels of the sector. I am thrilled the foundation is able to support so many projects for individuals with limited access to the arts and from BAME backgrounds.”

Theatre company Frantic Assembly received £12,000 for its Ignition programme, which encourages engagement in theatre from young men aged 16 to 20 from areas of high deprivation.

£10,000 went to Crisis UK to support performing arts workshops for homeless people in London.

Several other companies also received funds, including Malvern Theatres, the Scottish Civic Trust and a number of music and heritage organisations.

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