20th January 2020

Theatre, Music, Heritage

Today 16 new grants have been awarded to widen opportunities and increase diversity in the arts

  • The thousands of beneficiaries of music, theatre and heritage grants include homeless teenagers, disabled actors, writers and directors and young people from low-income families.  These awards take the total number of grants and scholarships awarded by the Foundation since 2011 to 593, amounting to £20.5M.

In this round a total of £225,405 has been given to arts and heritage projects in Scotland, Northern Ireland and throughout England including London, Bristol, Brighton, Reading, and Chichester, aimed at breaking down barriers to participation in the arts. We have prioritised projects that engage young people and individuals from hard-to-reach and minority backgrounds.

These grants come after we changed the way we awarded money in April last year. Three new strands of funding are aimed at supporting potential and reaching diverse communities. Grants up to £5,000 are now given to projects that increase diversity by removing social, economic and geographical barriers.

Up to £10,000 is given to initiatives that provide specialist training and workplace experience for emerging talent and newly graduated professionals. And up to £25,000 is awarded to schemes that apply resources widely and give training to a significant number of people.

The projects rewarded include: £10,000 to the charity MiSST (Music in Secondary Schools Trust), which will provide a week-long residential classical music workshop at Radley College to disadvantaged secondary school children; £25,000 to performing arts charity Arts Insight to run 5-day unique music, drama and dance courses at primary schools in challenging areas across the UK; £20,000 for an ensemble foundation course at the disabled-led Graeae Theatre Company; £4,922 for weekly sessions during term-time and intensive music workshops in the holidays at YMCA Glenrothes for young homeless people or those excluded from mainstream education from deprived areas; £20,000 to the Young Six Six project at the Bristol Old Vic, an ensemble of young performers from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

Since 2011, the Foundation has given £20.5 million in grants and performing arts scholarships, positively affecting hundreds of thousands of people across the UK and beyond.  In 2018 alone, it provided financial backing and sustainability to 111 projects, totalling over £3.1 million.

Andrew Lloyd Webber said:

“Engagement in the arts changes lives. The positive impact of the arts on health, social mobility and wellbeing is now irrefutable. I passionately believe that everyone in this country, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, should be able to participate.   

"I am thrilled my foundation is able to support projects that widen access, inspire creativity and deliver opportunities. Around the country, across the arts, many people are doing brilliant things to unlock talent and empower the next generation to succeed. We are proud to work with them.”




Grants awarded are:

Bristol Old Vic (BOV) – Young Six Six - £20,000

Based at Bristol Old Vic, the Young Six Six is an ensemble of young performers from lower socio-economic backgrounds designed to offer specialist training and mentoring in performance arts.   The programme provides an alternative journey into the BOV engagement programme for disadvantaged young people.

Arts Insight - 'Arts Insight Production Week’ - £25,000

The Arts Insight Production Week provide primary and SEN schools with first class performing arts experiences, offered in the form of one-five-day music, drama and dance workshops. The focus is on improving children's development in essential life skills such as confidence, communication, teamwork, discipline and self-esteem. 

The Gate Theatre Company Ltd. - Assistant Director Programme  - £16,000

The Gate is developing an Assistant Directors Programme to address the lack of accessible training opportunities in this area. By taking on a paid full-time Assistant role, participants will have the opportunity to ‘earn as they learn’ via the process of developing a show in a professional theatre venue, enabling them to gain valuable practical skills as well as refining their creative practice.

Southwark Playhouse - Southwark Playhouse Young Company - £9,720

Southwark Playhouse is a leading London theatre venue that presents a year-round programme of work by new and emerging theatre artists & practitioners.  The organisation also offers curriculum support programmes working across many Southwark schools, and a peer-led youth theatre for local young people (16-25). The Southwark Playhouse Young Company provides a free and inclusive professional workshop programme for 14-25 year olds in the Borough.

Chichester Festival Theatre (CFT) - Young Practitioners Programme - £19,336

The Young Practitioners Programme is open to 18-21 year olds based in West Sussex seeking to gain workplace experience and training.  CFT actively targets those whose backgrounds might place them at a disadvantage; the scheme is designed to bridge the gap into tertiary education or formal training. The programme provides coaching, mentoring, masterclasses and experience-based learning.

Music in Secondary Schools Trust - Radley College Music Residency - £10,000

The scheme aims to bring classical music education in challenging and disadvantaged secondary schools; providing funding to enable all students as they enter their secondary school to be given a classical musical instrument, regular group tuition and the opportunities to perform.

The Annual Radley Summer Residency provides an opportunity for MiSST students to improve their music skills through intensive music tuition.

Graeae Theatre Company - Ensemble Foundation - £20,000

A disabled-led theatre company that profiles the skills of disabled actors, writers and directors, producing thrilling and innovative work, particularly built around the creative use of sign language and audio description.

The Queen's University Belfast Foundation - The Queen’s University Belfast (Queen’s) Junior Academy of Music (JAM)- £14,760

JAM) enables children (aged 4-17) to pursue their passion for music, develop musicianship and music appreciation through high quality music tuition at Queens.  Pupils come from a range of educational backgrounds and schools across greater Belfast, many are in areas of deprivation. The programme provides full bursaries to unlock opportunities for children who would not traditionally engage with high quality music and cultural programmes.

The National Student Drama Festival Limited (NSDF) - £15,000

NSDF is a unique and precious thing, a charity that has helped generations of talented young people of all backgrounds find their home within the arts. NSDF is for all 16-25 year olds. The mission of NSDF is simple but vital: to empower and inspire young talent and ambition, to teach skills, to help launch careers and build the audience of tomorrow.  Foundation funding will enable the development of young people for future careers in theatre providing unique skills-based training and development culminating in a week-long Festival.

Brighton Dome & Festival Ltd (BDBF) - SoundCity Young Musicians Bursary Scheme - £15,000

SoundCity is Brighton & Hove’s Music Education Hub with Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival’s Music & Arts service the lead partner. 37,000 people benefit from BDBF creative learning opportunities, open days and music service each year. 50 music teachers deliver lessons and workshops to 4,000 primary and secondary school children on a weekly basis. SoundCity Young Musicians Bursary Scheme provides high quality, free or low-cost music education and performance opportunities for young people aged between 5 and 19, who are in care or whose families are on low incomes.

Awards for Young Musicians – Attune - £30,000

Awards for Young Musicians work across a number of partnership programmes to enable musically talented young people from low income families to fulfil their potential whilst building musical skills, confidence and achievement. The programme gives exceptionally talented young musicians aged 11-16 from low-income families first opportunities to play and appreciate chamber music.

YMCA Glenrothes - Y Music Project - £4,922

Y Music provides weekly sessions during term time plus intensive workshops in the holidays for young homeless people or those excluded from mainstream education from deprived areas of Glenrothes.  The young participants help each other through structured peer learning, thus improving social behaviour. During the last two years, over 100 young people have participated in Y Music and created their own music portfolios, including live and studio recordings.

Readipop - Access All Areas - £15,000

Readipop is an arts organisation offering 1:1 music-based mentoring sessions with vulnerable young people facing disadvantage, particularly NEET, BAME, those suffering from mental health difficulties or from criminal backgrounds.

Bristol Music Trust - Bristol Youth Orchestra and Youth Choir Bursary Programme - £4,662

Bristol Plays Music is Bristol’s music education hub, run from Colston Hall, providing professional music tuition and experience for 30,000 children in 92% of schools across the city, including supporting 2,500 young people from challenging circumstances through music.  Their bursary programme ‘Young Companies in Residence’ Bristol Youth Orchestra and Bristol Youth Choirs provide professional tuition and performance opportunities for young musicians aged 7 -19 whose families face economic disadvantage, combatting barriers to progression.

The Willow Primary School and Broadwater's Children's Centre - £1,005

The Foundation supported summer holiday theatre trips for primary school children from the Broadwater Farm Estate.

Society of Antiquaries of London - £5,000

Society of Antiquaries of London offers the Heritage Conservation Skills programme as part of the conservation of Kelmscott Manor. The project provides two apprentices with work-based placements to develop conservation skills, qualifications and experience.  The programme is offered to young people living in the South East/West region. Recruitment will be targeted at areas of diversity, particularly Swindon, with the aim to engage black, Asian and minority ethnic students.