Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre is delighted to announce that it has successfully retained its status as an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation for another four years. The theatre’s Development Trust has also been offered a one-off grant by ACE for various necessary upgrades.
NPOs are the organisations which receive regular annual funding from ACE, and are seen as representing some of the best arts practice in the world. For the four financial years from 2018 to 2022, the Stephen Joseph Theatre will receive annual funding of £637,715 a year, the same amount it received each financial year from 2015 to 2018.
The one-off capital grant of £419,122 is a large part of an overall capital project of £561,000 for developments to the front of house areas, including better access via an improved passenger lift and wheelchair platform; a new, environmentally-friendly LED lighting system in the Round, which will lower the venue’s energy bills; and various smaller projects.
The Stephen Joseph Theatre’s Chief Executive, Stephen Freeman, says: “The retention of our NPO status is brilliant news, and real recognition of our vision and of the theatre’s vital role within the communities of Scarborough and Yorkshire.
“The capital grant will enable us to enhance our customer experience enormously. The Stephen Joseph Theatre has been in its current venue for 21 years now, and we’re very aware that it needs some refurbishment. We want to provide a 21st century theatre-going experience for audiences both new and existing. Our ongoing vision will be to complement the unique period features of this building whilst looking to the future.”
Stephen added that the theatre’s Development Trust will shortly be launching a fund-raising campaign to secure the necessary match-funding for the capital project.
“We’d welcome discussions with anyone locally who has ideas or thoughts on ways to reach our target,” he said.
Richard Grunwell, chair of the Stephen Joseph Theatre board, says: “We’re absolutely delighted with today’s news. We have a wonderful summer of entertainment coming up, followed by an equally exciting 2017/18 winter season. This validation of the Stephen Joseph Theatre as a world-class organisation will enable us to create even more exciting work in 2018 and beyond.
“I’d like to thank our committed and hard-working team, our strong network of supporters, and our wonderful and loyal audiences.”