Lyric Hammersmith And Bush Theatre Both Receive Continued Arts Council England Investment Until 2022
Theatres in Hammersmith and Fulham received a major boost as Arts Council England confirmed that it will invest £7.1million locally to support the Bush Theatre and the Lyric Hammersmith. The two theatres were awarded four-year investment from Arts Council England for 2018 to 2022 following a national review of arts funding in the UK.
The Bush Theatre, an internationally recognised home for new plays, is a rare example of a Londonbased organisation to get an increase in annual funding. It will receive £595,000 a year, an additional 20%, to enable it to grow its artistic and community programmes. This is following their reopening in March after a £4.3million redevelopment of their home in the Old Shepherd’s Bush Library. The increase in funding recognises the strides the company has made in diversifying the work it produces, led by Artistic Director Madani Younis.
The Lyric Hammersmith, one of the UK’s leading producing theatres, will receive £1.1million revenue funding each year in a continuation of its existing funding arrangements. The theatre is one of around 60 arts organisations being recognised nationally for their important strategic role in the UK’s cultural infrastructure. Alongside its world class theatre programme the Lyric plays a nationally important role in creating routes into the arts for young people from all backgrounds.
The Lyric will also receive £360,000 in capital funding to help refurbish its spectacular 550 seat Victorian auditorium,to upgrade its smaller studio space as a home for work by and for young people, and to provide better disability access and environmental sustainability. This is the final phase of the Lyric’s £20milllion redevelopment which has seen the addition of state of the art education and creation facilities for theatre, dance, music, film and digital arts.
The Lyric’s Executive Director Sian Alexander said: ‘We are immensely grateful for the continued support of the Arts Council. Their investment provides 20% of the funds we need to deliver our work each year and so gives vital stability to our charity. It is the springboard from which we can then earn or raise the majority of the funds we need to deliver our extensive programmes.
We are very proud of the role we play in our local community in Hammersmith. Each year we welcome nearly 200,000 people to our theatre and more than 33,000 young people take part in a wide range of creative classes and activities here.
We have a longstanding partnership with the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham and are delighted to see their on-going support and substantial investment in our new building matched by this significant national funding for the arts.’
The Bush Theatre’s Executive Director Jon Gilchrist said:
‘We’re thrilled to once again be part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio, and the uplift in support comes at a critical time for the Bush Theatre. In the past six years we have grown significantly, from the small powerhouse of new plays above a pub on Shepherd’s Bush Green, to our marvellous new home on Uxbridge Road.
Today we have two theatres, new community and rehearsal spaces, and we expect to welcome nearly four times as many people this year as we did in 2012. This increase in funding will enable us to maintain our commitment to creating the finest new plays, increasing our work with the community, and to representing the diversity of Hammersmith and Fulham our stages, in our workforce and the artists we develop.’
Councillor Andrew Jones , Hammersmith & Fulham Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, said:
“At a time when there are more financial demands than ever before, it is wonderful that Arts Council England is increasing its investment in our leading theatres and other arts bodies in Hammersmith & Fulham.
“This money helps underpin H&F Council’s arts strategy, which builds on the strong arts and cultural scene in the borough, and boosts local employment and business.
“It is a recognition of the contribution our hard-working arts organisations make to celebrating diversity and involving the community – whatever their background – in inclusive, creative projects.”