Theatres Trust Awards New Grants, With Half a Million Available For Theatre Sustainability

The next round of the Theatre Improvement Scheme will reopen for applications in late spring 2024.

By: Mar. 05, 2024
Theatres Trust Awards New Grants, With Half a Million Available For Theatre Sustainability
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Through its partnership with the Wolfson Foundation, Theatres Trust is awarding £115,982 to six theatres to help them become more environmentally sustainable.  These awards are made as the Wolfson Foundation announces the renewal of its funding for the Theatre Improvement Scheme, with a further £510,000 in total to be awarded over the next three years.

The latest round of the Theatre Improvement Scheme is funding six leading theatres with projects that will help them reduce energy consumption, operate more sustainably and reinvest savings in artists and community projects.

The UK’s first purpose-built theatre-in-the-round, the New Vic in Newcastle-under-Lyme, receives funding to replace or renovate the original windows in the backstage areas, which date back to the theatre’s inception in the 1980s.  This simple change is estimated to reduce the building’s CO2 emissions by 35%. 

Storyhouse in Chester acts as a warm hub for the community in the winter months, so it is vitally important that its spaces can be heated efficiently.  Its solar energy capacity will be trebled with the installation of additional solar panels. This will reduce carbon emissions, help the theatre generate more self-sustaining power, and make significant savings. 

Battersea Arts Centre will undertake a major upgrade of its Building Management System (BMS), which will radically improve its ability to manage energy consumption, reduce its carbon footprint and enable effective monitoring across more of the building.  Birmingham Rep has identified a problem with how the air in its main auditorium is heated, wasting energy and leading to audience discomfort.  This will be resolved by the installation of new fans, funded through this grant scheme.  

Switching to energy-efficient lighting is recognised as making a significant impact to theatres’ sustainability with both Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) in Birmingham and Park Theatre in London receiving funding to switch to LED lighting in this round of the scheme.

Jon Morgan, Director of Theatres Trust, comments, Environmental sustainability is a cornerstone of Theatres Trust’s work to support theatres to be fit for the future.  We are therefore delighted to be able to support not only another six theatres in this round but more theatres over the next three years thanks to the generous ongoing support of the Wolfson Foundation.

Paul Ramsbottom, chief executive of the Wolfson Foundation, said, The projects we have funded with Theatres Trust highlight how practical changes can greatly improve an organisation’s environmental and financial sustainability.  At a time when the UK’s performing arts sector is facing significant challenges, we are pleased to be able to renew our partnership with Theatres Trust for a further three years to continue support for imaginative and important responses to the climate crisis.

Since Theatres Trust and the Wolfson Foundation started working together in 2017, grants totalling more than £750,000 have been awarded to help 46 theatres across the UK improve their buildings, including 32 grants to improve environmental sustainability. This latest partnership renewal takes the commitment to over £1.25million. 

The next round of the Theatre Improvement Scheme will reopen for applications in late spring 2024.  The deadline for applications will be Friday 6th September.  Further details on the scheme can be found at http://www.theatrestrust.org.uk/how-we-help/grants-funding/theatre-improvement-scheme



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