York museums, theatres and music makers share £11 million in grants

Roman soldiers Byron Angel and Graham Harris from the Eboracum Roman Festival. Photograph: Anthony Chappel-Ross
27 Jun 2017 @ 9.50 pm
| Entertainment, News

Some of York’s brilliant theatres, museums and music makers are celebrating after being awarded a total of more than £11 million.

On Tuesday (June 27) the culture funding body the Arts Council England announced its National Portfolio – the 831 organisations it will be funding between 2018-22.

Six of them hail from within the City of York Council area. And today’s news means they will be able to fund more creative work over the next four years.

Altogether they will receive £11,647,020 – so who were our winners?

History showcase

The York Castle Museum exhibition Shaping The Body impressed the funding body

Well done to York Museums Trust, which one the biggest of the local grants.

It gets a total of £6.27 million, following praise from the Arts Council for its “outstanding current programme”, including Shaping The Body at the Castle Museum and Flesh which was at York Art Gallery earlier this year.

Of that, £4.92 million will be to develop its existing portfolio – York Art Gallery, York Castle Museum, York St Mary’s and the Yorkshire Museum.

A further £1.35 million supports the trust’s work offering expertise, support and advice to other museums in the region.

The guarantee of £1.23 million a year will allow the trust to continue to effectively plan and deliver a wide range of high profile exhibitions events and activities designed to engage with larger and more diverse audiences.

– trust chief executive Reyahn King

New activities include the proposed development of York Castle Museum and the city’s wider bid to transform the Castle Gateway.

Next year a major exhibition on Jurassic Yorkshire will showcase the Yorkshire Museum’s significant natural science collections, while the Eboracum Roman Festival will return to York Museum Gardens after two successful years.

Citizen’s Theatre

Bring On The Bollywood, a show coming to York Theatre Royal in July

The body which runs York Theatre Royal, the York Citizen’s Theatre Trust, is awarded £2.35 million.

That’s £587,000 a year, cash which will enable it to develop “a number of exciting new partnerships as well as continuing our relationship with our community,” said chair of the trustee board Ann Green.

Chief executive Liz Wilson said the news followed a year on from the Theatre Royal reopening after a multi-million refurbishment, adding:

This award allows us to make sure the next four years will be just as inspiring.

We will be producing and presenting an eclectic range of performing arts, from pantomime and children’s theatre to classic adaptations, new work and contemporary dance.

Bringing arts to everyone

The NCEM team celebrate with an National Portfolio cake

The York Early Music Foundation gets £1.08 million. That’s £270,467 a year for the work at the National Centre For Early Music.

This funding will

  • support artistic excellence in early music
  • support the development of young talented professionals
  • and encourage people to be inspired by early music in particular, alongside other musical genres including world, jazz and folk.

“We are a small and hard-working team, dedicated to bringing arts to everyone and ensuring high quality and enjoyable experiences,” said the NCEM’s director, Delma Tomlin. She added:

We have some very exciting and ambitious plans over the next few years and will continue to build of the fantastic work we do people of all ages, from different backgrounds and ability in music.

Our stunning medieval church provides the perfect setting for us to enjoy music.

Pilot projects

Everything Is Possible, staged party outside York Minster. Photograph: Anthony Robling

York-based Pilot Theatre, currently co-producing community theatre show Everything Is Possible: The York Suffragettes, is awarded £1.32 million.

The company said: “We are excited that this funding will enable us firstly to reinvigorate our national touring, working from 2018 in a special partnership with York Theatre Royal, the Mercury Colchester, Derby Theatre and the Belgrade Coventry to deliver a series of new mid-scale productions for young adult audiences.

“In our home city of York, this funding will enable us to undertake more projects with young people, and to deliver more work in and with communities that due to various barriers have less access to the arts.”

Jazz and tours

Two smaller York organisations are also included in the Arts Council portfolio.

The National Rural Touring Forum, which is based on Sycamore Terrace in York, gets £346,332.

This will support its work helping its members put on shows in places like schools, village halls and churches in rural locations.

Meanwhile, J-Night receives £274,996. One of the leading producers of world jazz in the North of England, J-Night is also based on Sycamore Terrace from where it organises Hull Jazz Festival and the Freedom Festival.