Announcement On Derby Theatre's Bid For Arts Council England Funding

Kedleston Road campus 504x257 Announcement On Derby Theatre's Bid For Arts Council England Funding

Date posted: 30 March 2011

The University was disappointed to hear today (March 30) that Derby Theatre's bid to Arts Council England for £726,000 per year for three years had been unsuccessful.

We fully understand the very difficult decisions Arts Council England faces in the current economic climate.

Key regional representatives from Arts Council England visited the University personally to deliver the news and to give a full debrief.

This included the news that Arts Council England has set aside a sum of £921,000 over three years to support theatre in Derby.

In 2009 the University took a 99 year lease on the theatre, reopening it after the former Derby Playhouse had been closed for 18 months. Since then it has put substantial investment into the theatre, with the aim of making it one of the country's foremost 'learning theatres' for students, as well as a quality venue for public live arts

In April 2012 a two-year contract with Derby LIVE - Derby City Council's performing arts organisation - to manage the theatre operations will end. Derby Theatre will then assume its own management, including that of producing theatre in-house at the venue and at other sites in the city.

The bid to Arts Council England was supported by annual funding - over a three year period from April 2012 - from the University and Derby City Council. In addition the University will be investing an additional £350,000 in building improvements, equipment and other infrastructure over the three years.

Professor John Coyne, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said: "We were confident in Derby Theatre's bid to Arts Council England, which was strongly supported by Derby City Council, and are disappointed at today's result. It was an unusual 'model' but one which we felt had great merit and was submitted after taking extensive advice.

"We will now have to take time to explore in detail what this will mean for our 2012/13 theatre programme and we shall be doing this in consultation with the Arts Council England.

"They have indicated that a sum of £921,000 over three years has been set aside within their strategic fund to support theatre in Derby. They have offered to work closely with us to ensure that we provide the best programme possible in the city.

"What is certain is that we do not wish to lose the momentum we already have and we shall continue to work with local producers. Our vision for the theatre, and the future of produced original dramatic works in the city, will continue and we shall be taking up the Arts Council England offer to work closely with us in refining that vision.

"The contract with Derby LIVE will continue up to April 2012. We will now be exploring the Arts Council England offer and other avenues of funding. Let us not lose sight of the exciting programme of work already scheduled for the next 12 months. There will be some outstanding theatre in Derby."

For further information please contact Head of Corporate Relations Peter Gallimore on 01332 591041 or Press and PR Officer Sean Kirby on 01332 591891 or 07876 476103, or email

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