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Theatres given £1.4m to produce work for elderly audiences

Three quarters of older people surveyed think the arts are important for their happiness. Photo: Volt Collection/Shutterstock The Arts Council's Celebrating Age programme develops work for older people. Photo: Volt Collection/Shutterstock
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The New Vic Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent and Farnham Maltings are among the organisations sharing £1.4 million in Arts Council England funding to create cultural opportunities for older people.

The funding, via the National Lottery, has been awarded to 16 organisations to develop work with and for older people through ACE’s Celebrating Age programme.

Outdoor arts festival Hat Fair has been awarded £75,560 to develop a two-year programme for older people, which includes a touring, immersive show based on the real lives of 90-year-olds.

A £99,975 grant will be used by Stoke’s New Vic Theatre to produce Meet Me at Live Age, a programme of arts events and performances created by and for older people to help reduce the risk of social isolation.

Farnham Maltings has been awarded £62,338 for a project that will bring older people together with artists – including Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures – to produce four new works across theatre, dance, art and sculpture.

As previously reported by The Stage, West Yorkshire Playhouse will use an investment of £99,950 to produce a Festival of Theatre and Dementia which will explore the experience of living with dementia through creative means, involving people with dementia as curators.

Other organisations to be awarded funding include The Wiltshire Music Centre Trust, which will offer older people the opportunity to see live performances in libraries and community centres and take part in music, dance and visual arts activities, and City Arts in Nottingham which will challenge perceptions of ageing and dementia through a programme of cultural events.

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