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Live Theatre Receives Lifeline Grant From The Government's £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund

Live Theatre has been awarded £429,678 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary has announced today.

Live Theatre is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment has been announced today as part of the very first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

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 award will enable the organisation to continue to develop talented individuals and new companies and deliver plays and creative activity that supports the freelance theatre sector. It will ensure opportunities for engagement of participants in its children and young people’s programme. The award will make up for the shortfall in income streams caused by temporary closure forced on it by the pandemic.

Digital capacity through the new public facing Live Wired programme – profiling writers, artists and creative teams and nurturing new talent will be strengthened.

The award will enable the venue to make necessary adaptations to ensure a safe environment for returning audiences and to enable flexible working solutions for staff. Planning and development is underway on an exciting new season of work that Live Theatre plans to present on stage with live audiences from April 2021.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

“This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation. It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery.

“These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country. This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly.”

Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said:

“Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”

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 award will make a huge contribution to the sustainability of Live Theatre and the creative community with which we work. Theatre has a great capacity to enrich lives and we look forward to sharing stories to the screen through our Live Wired programme and bringing live theatre back into our special theatre space.”

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


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