The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has awarded 16 grants totalling more than £225,000 to organisations including Bristol Old Vic, Southwark Playhouse and Chichester Festival Theatre.
Bristol Old Vic was awarded £20,000 to support its ensemble of young performers from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, while Southwark Playhouse and Chichester Festival Theatre also received funding towards their programmes for young people.
Other projects to receive grants included an assistant director programme at the Gate Theatre in London, Graeae Theatre Company’s Ensemble training programme for young D/deaf and disabled people and the National Student Drama Festival.
The charity Arts Insight’s ‘Production Week’, which offers performing arts experiences in secondary schools, was awarded a grant of £25,000, the Willow Primary School and Broadwaters Children’s Centre was awarded a grant to support theatre trips for primary school children, and Brighton Dome was given £15,000 funding for a young musicians’ bursary scheme.
Lloyd Webber said: “Engagement in the arts changes lives. The positive impact of the arts on health, social mobility and well-being is now irrefutable.
“I passionately believe that everyone in this country, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, should be able to participate.”
He added: “I am thrilled my foundation is able to support projects that widen access, inspire creativity and deliver opportunities.
“Around the country, across the arts, many people are doing brilliant things to unlock talent and empower the next generation to succeed. We are proud to work with them.”
The foundation supports the arts and music in the UK, and has given grants totalling £20.5 million since launching in 2011.