Arts Council award will be a catalyst for success for the Belgrade Theatre

Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre is delighted to announce that it has been successful in securing a grant of £240,000 from Arts Council England’s Catalyst Arts fund under the Capacity Building Programme.

Belgrade Theatre landscapeThe Catalyst Arts scheme aims to make arts organisations more sustainable, resilient and innovative by increasing their fundraising potential and attracting new money to invest in additional artistic work. It acts as funding to support additional arts activity.

The grant, which will be made available across a three year period, will allow the Belgrade to build upon its recent success with fundraising from grant making trusts, private individuals and businesses, and invest this in producing more theatre and drama-based education work.

Joanna Reid, Executive Director at the Belgrade Theatre said, “We are delighted to receive this significant funding award from the Arts Council. It’s a real mark of confidence in the theatre and our ability to meet the challenges we face to replace declining statutory funding.

“We are already earning more from commercial activities such as our set building company Belgrade Production Services and Events and Conferencing and this award will help us to make some important developments and ultimately build on our success.

“Whether it is from private sources, the Arts Council or City Council, funding is crucial, and this award will in turn help us to fulfil our ongoing policy of producing high quality international drama, plays that tell local stories such as We Love You City and One Night in November, and develop our life changing Community & Education work.”

Arts Council England has made awards to organisations that are committed to making a step-change in their approach to fundraising by finding innovative ways to identify and make themselves more attractive to donors, and to make sure that donors want to keep on giving. The Belgrade fought off stiff competition from 350 applicants to be one of the 173 organisations awarded a collective total of just over £30 million through the Catalyst Arts fund.

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, added: “It’s marvellous to see the many innovative ways in which arts organisations have responded to this opportunity to maximise their fundraising potential.

“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.”

The Belgrade is one of only three venues in the West Midlands to receive the Catalyst funding, alongside Birmingham REP, which has been awarded £180,000 and Warwick Arts Centre, which will receive a £120,000 grant.