Theatres: Government Assistance

Department for Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered at on 17 May 2024.

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Photo of Damien Moore Damien Moore Conservative, Southport

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department has taken to support (a) small and (b) independent theatres.

Photo of Julia Lopez Julia Lopez Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office), The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)

His Majesty’s Government is committed to supporting the arts and cultural sector, including theatres. This is primarily through the Arts Council England whose funding for National Portfolio Organisations has increased to £444.6 million per annum, funding a record 985 organisations, including 214 new organisations outside of London.

Arts Council England invests in nearly 200 theatres or theatre companies that produce, commission, and present theatre, in addition to arts centres, festivals and outdoor theatre companies. These range from large theatres in cities - Liverpool Theatres, Manchester Royal Exchange, Sheffield Theatres - to smaller theatres and theatre companies often with a particular specialism, such as theatre for children, theatre with a disability focus, theatre companies that co-create with different communities or theatre companies that are designed to tour. Overall investment in theatre has increased through the current round of the Arts Council’s National Portfolio programme – both in terms of the number of organisations supported, and the volume of funding which is now more than £110 million per annum.

A number of theatres are also regularly supported through the Arts Council’s open access National Lottery Project Grants programme which has a budget of £116.8 million a year. This is a rolling programme and is open to artists and companies across the country.

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