bright future for theatre

Derby Theatre
Derby Theatre

Derby Theatre will receive £500,000 per year from the Arts Council England’s National Portfolio to support key strands its programme of work from 2015 to


The theatre can look forward to a bright future with the venue on an “upward trajectory”, according to its artistic director Sarah Brigham (pictured)

Along with the theatre’s unique partnership with the University of Derby, this award will ensure it can continue making professional homegrown shows made by the theatre team, attract the best of touring theatre, and offer even more inspiring learning and participation opportunities for audiences, and remain a thriving hub for culture in the city and the wider region.

Arts Council England currently fund Derby Theatre’s Learning Theatre Pilot Programme, which has transformed the theatre into a unique centre for learning for students, artists, theatre practitioners and the wider community.

National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) funding will develop this further, creating more inspiring opportunities for people to get involved.

Sarah Brigham said: “I am delighted by this decision and all credit must go to the staff team and trustees who have worked tirelessly to help redefine our vision and offer into an innovative prospect worth investing in.

“Our unique relationship with the University, and now Arts Council England, allows us to forge ahead with our plans in developing artistic excellence for our audiences whilst becoming an artistic hub for emerging artists, students and our community.

“This truly is a landmark day as we enter the Arts Council’s National Portfolio, to have an uplift in our current Arts Council funding and take the next step in making a national impact on the traditional lines between artistic excellence and learning for all.”

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She added: “We have a lot of exciting projects in the pipeline, every show we produce we get bigger audiences for so we are definitely on an upward trajectory and things are looking more than rosy for Derby Theatre. There is a real opportunity to look forward and celebrate.”

The cash pot from the Arts Council will be match-funded by the University of Derby, meaning that the theatre will

have a solid base on which to continue its ‘learning theatre’ model.