THE organisation behind Chester’s open air theatre in Grosvenor Park is one of only 19 in the North West to benefit from a new Arts Council England (ACE) scheme.
Chester Performs will receive £204,877 from ACE’s £30 million Catalyst Arts capacity building and match funding scheme which aims to make arts organisations more sustainable by increasing their fundraising potential and attracting new money to invest in artistic work. It acts as challenge funding to support additional arts activity.
Chester Performs will receive £204,877 to generate funding from individuals, trusts and foundations, to build on its reputation for innovation and enterprising organisation and to expand its educational opportunities.
Director of Chester Performs Andrew Bentley said: “We are delighted that ACE has recognised the work that we have already been doing and our potential for growth.”
Chester Performs has already attracted business sponsorship from Stanlow-based Essar Oil UK and Weightman’s law firm and future plans include developing a ‘Friends’ membership programme to encourage donations from individuals.
Other successful applicants in the North West include Chetham's School of Music in Manchester, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, DaDa Disability & Deaf Arts in Liverpool, Kendal Arts International, Milapfest in Liverpool and Liverpool Biennial.
ACE chief executive Alan Davey, said: “It is vital that the arts continue to be publicly funded but, with the tough economic climate prevailing, it’s also essential to strengthen all the various sources of income that help keep the arts in this country ambitious and excellent.”
Rehearsals start for Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre - page 33.