Future bright for city theatre

Murray Edwards and John Godber'Theatre Royal Wakefield
Murray Edwards and John Godber'Theatre Royal Wakefield
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THE future of Theatre Royal Wakefield is looking bright after it secured a £100,000 grant from the Arts Council.

The money – £99,570 – will pay for a new business development department, which will focus on securing new funding to support the theatre, the building and its artistic output.

The cash award is something of a U-turn for the Arts Council, which announced in April that it had cut its £150,000 annual grant under its National Portfolio funding scheme for 2012-2015.

The new grant is from a different scheme, Grants for the Arts, which distributes funds from the National Lottery.

Murray Edwards, the theatre’s executive director, said: “We are absolutely delighted that our bid to secure funding from the Arts Council’s Grants for the Arts programme has been successful.

“We have worked extremely hard to put a robust application together and it’s testament to the work we do for the people of this district they have agreed to back us by awarding the full amount that we requested.”

The award comes as the theatre announced that playwright John Godber has taken up a new role as creative director at the Drury Lane theatre.

This follows the announcement in March that Mr Godber’s new venture, The John Godber Company, would work in partnership with Theatre Royal Wakefield to produce two UK tours of his work each year. The new role will see Mr Godber, who is already a board member, involved in the theatre’s programming strategy and focusing upon the produced work generated by the theatre.

Mr Godber, formerly artistic director of Hull Truck Theatre, has a world-renowned body of work including Bouncers and Teechers.