Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds

We’re officially a member of the 2023-26 Arts Council England Investment Programme (NPO)!

Posted on: 4th April, 2023

=Today marks the beginning of our journey as a member of the 2023-26 Arts Council England Investment Programme (NPO) which means funding thanks to taxpayers and National Lottery players plays a huge part in supporting our work.
Artistic Director, Owen Calvert-Lyons recognises that this funding benefits everyone in the region “This support and funding from Arts Council England is brilliant news for our community, local residents, artists, visitors and organisations as it further enables us to transform the lives of local people through the power of the performing arts.  We believe that everyone, at all stages of their lives, regardless of background or personal circumstance, should have equal opportunity to engage in extraordinary cultural experiences and this funding allows us to extend this even further.  Over the last 5 years we have reached over 300,000 people through our performing arts and creative learning offers.  Our annual Doorstep Festival has toured high quality theatre to rural schools, this year reaching 3,389 primary and secondary school pupils. Our year-round Youth Theatre provides a creative education programme for young people aged 6-22 from all backgrounds, particularly those who are learning disabled & neurodivergent through our SENsory Youth Theatre programme. Our Tiny Plays, BIG IDEAS programme, has taught 450 primary school children to write their first play.

Through our close partnerships with specialist organisations such as Women’s Aid, Bury Drop-In, Suffolk Young Carers, GeeWizz, Mind, Age UK, The Mix in Stowmarket, the Benjamin Foundation in Thetford and The Hub in Mildenhall, we have specialised in working with vulnerable people to make their voices heard through performing arts.  This is the lifeblood of our mission. At the same time, we are acutely aware of those who do outstanding work in the region but whose funding applications have not been successful and will therefore be facing an uncertain future.”

Theatre Royal is the only working Regency theatre, one of only six Grade-I listed theatres in England, the only theatre in the National Trust’s portfolio and considered to be one of the cultural sector’s crown jewels. Our eclectic programme is carefully curated to ensure that we have something for everyone, whether it is cutting-edge contemporary theatre, traditional drama, dance, comedy, music spanning genres from classical to pop, or award-winning productions for children and young people.

With this funding, our ambition is to further embed the voice of this community within all aspects of our offer, ensuring that our cultural & education programmes are designed with, by and for the people of Suffolk.

We would like to recognise and thank both the local authorities, West Suffolk Council and Suffolk County Council, as well as local businesses, the Town Council, communities and individuals for their long-standing support of the theatre. Reliance on private sector funding from individuals and sponsors, which has always been crucial for the theatre’s sustainability, particularly in recent years, will continue. This support provides 18% of our core annual costs. This additional funding from ACE will raise Theatre Royal’s ambitions even further and allow us to serve the audiences of Suffolk with the quality and scale of work they deserve.

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