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Live Theatre receives Capital Kickstart grant from Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund

Live Theatre receives Capital Kickstart grant from Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund

Live Theatre, Newcastle has been awarded an £85,911 Capital Kickstart grant as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund enabling the organisation to push forward with Live Theatre’s capital project despite the financial challenge caused by the Covid-19 crisis.

Live Theatre is one of 74 organisations receiving grants totalling £58.9 million today. The Capital Kickstart grants programme helps organisations cover costs added to capital projects such as building works, refurbishments, and large-scale equipment purchases by pandemic-related delays or fundraising shortfalls. 

Established in 1973, Live Theatre is the only theatre outside of London dedicated to new writing, championing lesser heard and diverse voices and creating bold, diverse contemporary plays. Live Theatre plays a vital role in the national theatre ecology; achieved through a unique framework of nurturing and commissioning new, emerging and established writers for new plays, and a significant programme for children and young people.

Live Theatre’s talent development programme supports over 1,000 independent artists each year. In the last five years Live Theatre has singularly commissioned 52 productions, 75% from North East artists.

The funding expands the scope of an existing project and will enable Live Theatre to implement highly visible adaptations and safety measures to open and operate effectively and ensure that returning customers, staff and creative associates feel reassured and confident when they can once again return to Live Theatre. These measures include the installation of perspex screens, physical alterations to the auditorium space, reduced touch points, installation of digital screens and also the purchase of technical and production equipment including mobile seating and lighting in order to enable outdoor performances to be staged within Live Garden and Low Yard.  

Today DCMS also announces that £165 million from the Culture Recovery Fund has been offered in repayable loans to help 11 major cultural organisations survive the loss of income caused by the crisis. This follows previous rounds of the Culture Recovery Fund, including the Grants programme which distributed £428 million to over 2,000 cultural organisations across the country, and the £3.36 million Emergency Grassroots Music Venues Fund.

Jim Beirne, Chief Executive of Live Theatre, said:

“We are incredibly appreciative of the generous support that we have received from the Culture Recovery Fund. This additional award will help us to make the necessary adaptations to ensure a safe, comfortable and welcoming environment for returning audiences and talented theatre makers. We will be able to continue to develop and deliver our creative programme, bringing original and innovative stories back to our theatre spaces and sharing them with audiences.”

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said:

“This government promised it would be here for culture and today’s announcement is proof we’ve kept our word. 

“The £1 billion invested so far through the Culture Recovery Fund has protected tens of thousands of jobs at cultural organisations across the UK, with more support still to come through a second round of applications.

“Today we’re extending a huge helping hand to the crown jewels of UK culture - so that they can continue to inspire future generations all around the world.” 

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England said “Today’s announcement is another vital step in securing the future of England’s cultural sector. Supporting capital projects will help to ensure that we maintain an innovative, sustainable cultural infrastructure that supports world class creative work, while the loans announced today will enable some of our largest and most prestigious cultural organisations to weather the effects of Covid-19 and reopen when it is safe to do so. The Arts Council is grateful to the Government for their support through the Culture Recovery Fund, and we are proud to support all the organisations receiving funding today.”

  • Arts Council England
  • Community Foundation
  • European Regional Development Fund


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