Opera North is to receive nearly £500,000 towards its multimillion-pound expansion plans, as part of Arts Council England’s small capital grants programme.
The Leeds opera company will receive £499,999, the highest amount available, to refurbish its site, enabling more public performances, adding a restaurant and bar, new rehearsal facilities and a dedicated education hub.
It is one of 36 grants to arts organisations across England, worth a total of £11.6 million, which are intended to help companies maintain and improve their buildings so they can deliver their work, build resilience and become more sustainable.
Other recipients include the London-based National Youth Theatre, which has been given £499,950 to take the first steps in a project to extend its current premises in north London and create a “national production house” for young people’s theatre.
Grants of £350,000 and £185,000 have also been given to the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch and Rochdale-based M6 Theatre Company respectively.
The Queen’s Theatre will carry out a programme of building improvements, including creating new rehearsal rooms and a learning and participation studio, while M6 will use the money to make its building more accessible for audiences and to buy a greener touring van to reduce the company’s carbon footprint.
Elsewhere, Newcastle dance company Ballet Lorent will create a studio, office and storage base with its grant of £110,000, where it will make dance theatre to tour.
Norwich Arts Centre and Colchester Arts Centre will each receive £499,999 towards capital projects at their respective homes, with both venues putting money into improving their accessibility for D/deaf and disabled artists and audiences.
Arts Council chief executive Darren Henley said the grants provide “vital funding” for organisations to ensure that their buildings and equipment can adequately support their work.
“We are able to help organisations of all sizes from across the country develop more sustainable and resilient businesses through these grant, allowing them to produce even more excellent work for the public,” he said.