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BBC, Lowry and Brit School join government’s £5m schools performing arts programme

The BBC, the Lowry and the Brit School are among the cultural organisations working with the government on a £5 million programme to teach performing arts to 10,000 children in the UK.

The three partners will work with local schools in five areas of the country to bring performing arts skills to young people as part of the Youth Performance Partnership programme, which was unveiled last year by culture secretary Jeremy Wright [1].

Five to 18-year-olds in Croydon, Derby, Medway in Kent, Plymouth and Salford will work with several institutions in each area as part of the programme, where they will learn theatre skills and work with playwrights to develop new pieces of creative writing they will then perform.

The scheme, which is steered towards engaging young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, will also include activities such as set design, learning about lighting and sound and dance.

Other partners include Theatre Royal Plymouth and the Gulbenkian youth theatre in Canterbury.

Wright, who announced the partners at an event at the Brit School, argued that “too many children around the country still do not have the opportunity to take part either on stage or behind the scenes”.

He added: “As I know from my own experience, performing on stage can be transformative for young people. It can boost self esteem, build confidence and teach skills they will use throughout their lives.

“Our Youth Performance Partnerships will give thousands of young people the chance to work directly with world-class cultural organisations and inspire the next generation of playwrights, actors or producers.”

Culture secretary Jeremy Wright makes diversity pledge as he delivers first major arts speech [2]