Theatre confirmed as part of Arts Council portfolio
The University of Wolverhampton's Arena Theatre has been confirmed as part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio for 2023-26, enabling the venue to continue to provide small-scale theatre, and community outreach to its audiences throughout Wolverhampton and beyond, alongside providing support for local artists.
The 150 seat theatre in Wulfruna Street features seminar rooms and a bar and stages 200 productions every year.
Neil Reading, Artistic Director of the Arena Theatre, said: “We are delighted to receive this investment from the Arts Council and DCMS. The funding will allow us to continue providing unique theatre experiences for everyone in Wolverhampton and beyond. Our work with the diverse audiences of the City and the region will continue and we look forward to bringing the creativity, community and culture of Wolverhampton to our stages and throughout our many outreach activities. Let’s Create!”
Arts Council England Chair, Sir Nicholas Serota, said: “As well as continuing our commitment to our many established and renowned cultural organisations, I am deeply proud of the support we will be giving to those new organisations which will help ignite creativity across the country. We are facing economic pressures at present but this funding is about an investment in our future. This portfolio will support the next generation of visionary inventors, makers, performers and artists. In particular, the growth of our funding for organisations that support and develop work for children represents a profoundly important long-term investment in our country’s talent.”
Arts Council England Chief Executive, Darren Henley, said: “Together, each of the 990 organisations that have been offered funding today will contribute to a portfolio that is rich, varied and truly national. This is our widest ever spread of investment across the country, ensuring that many more people will have access to a wider choice of exceptional art, culture and creative opportunities on their doorsteps. We are in tough times but we must remember creativity brings with it extraordinary dividends, boosting our country’s economic growth, creating jobs, bringing communities closer together, and making us happier as individuals. Everyone deserves to enjoy the benefits it brings, and with this investment, we believe we’ve taken a decisive step towards making that vision a reality.”
Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan said: "Thanks to this new government funding package, spreading more money to more communities than ever before, people living in areas from Wolverhampton to Wigan and Crawley to Chesterfield will now get to benefit from the deep economic and social rewards culture can bring.
"We continue to support our icons such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Royal Shakespeare Company, but today's announcement will see organisations in places all too often overlooked get the support they need to transform access to the arts for everyone - no matter where they live."
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