February 2022

Theatres Trust awards grants of c£58,000 to help theatres survive and thrive, with £300,000 further funding available over the next three years

Through its partnership with The Linbury Trust, Theatres Trust is awarding £58,060 split between 13 not-for-profit theatres in the second round of its Small Grants Programme. These awards are made as The Linbury Trust confirms the renewal of its funding for the Small Grants Programme, with a further £300,000 committed over the next three years to support the UK’s beloved community venues.

Projects funded in this round of grants focus on improving theatres’ accessibility and sustainability as well as urgent repairs and maintenance works that are essential to ongoing viability.

Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre will install a Changing Places toilet as part of its major redevelopment programme, making the venue accessible to all for the first time in its history. Liverpool’s Royal Court will purchase 35 devices to enable people with hearing and visual impairments and who do not have a smartphone access the assistive hearing systems or audio described performances, making productions in main house and studio theatre more accessible. Brookside Theatre in Romford and Seven Dials Playhouse in London will both make improvements to their box offices to be accessible and more welcoming to all audiences.

Omnibus Theatre in Clapham will upgrade its air conditioning and heating unit while Warminster Athenaeum will install a new ventilation system, both projects making the respective venues more comfortable for audiences and performers. Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds will replace its existing downlighters with LED alternatives that meet current safety standards. The Old Library Bodmin will install insulation on the roof its historic building. All of these projects will support the theatres to be more energy efficient and make vital cost savings.

The Garage in Norwich, Hackney Empire and The Robin Hood Theatre in Newark have all been awarded grants to carry out urgent repairs to their building’s roof. Newport’s Dolman Theatre will install WiFi across the whole building and improve its security system, while Sheppey Little Theatre has secured funding to repair its emergency lighting. These are all essential projects that enable the theatres to remain open and serving their local communities.

Jon Morgan, Director of Theatres Trust, comments, After the pandemic there is a real desire across the theatre sector to ‘build back better’, to improve accessibility and sustainability and widen reach into communities. Theatres also need to recover from the serous impact of the pandemic on their own operations and support from grant schemes like this are vital in helping them on the road to recovery. Theatres Trust is hugely grateful to The Linbury Trust for committing to a further three years of funding, which will allow us to provide targeted support where it will have the biggest impact.

Stuart Hobley, Director of The Linbury Trust, comments, Congratulations to all the theatres across the UK who will be using these grants to make their spaces more accessible, sustainable and welcoming. We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with Theatres Trust. Theatres play such an important role in local economies and, as we emerge from the long shadow of Covid, this funding will support vital improvements to help welcome back audiences, and for neighbourhood theatres to shine.

The next round of the Small Grants Programme supported by The Linbury Trust is now open forapplications with a deadline of Tuesday 3 May 2022.

January 2022

It is with great sadness that The Linbury Trust announces the death of Lord John Sainsbury of Preston Candover KG who died peacefully at home on 14 January 2022, after a long illness.

In parallel with his leadership of Sainsbury’s plc, Lord Sainsbury was one of the country’s great philanthropists. He believed passionately in the importance of giving something back and in the role that philanthropy plays in society. With his wife, Lady Anya Sainsbury CBE, formerly Anya Linden, ballerina of the Royal Ballet, they started The Linbury Trust in the early 1970s. Since its inception Linbury has awarded millions to charitable organisations across the world, supporting causes across a wide spectrum from arts, heritage and culture to education access for young people, homelessness, helping older people live independent lives and overseas humanitarian aid.

Lord Sainsbury will be remembered as a champion of the arts and his generosity has helped secure the legacy of many of the UK’s internationally known cultural venues. These include the Ashmolean Museum, the British Museum, the Dulwich Picture Gallery, the Museum of London and the highly acclaimed Linbury Theatre at the Royal Opera House. One of his greatest contributions to culture was in the late 1980s, when together with his brothers, Simon and Timothy, they funded the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery, home to a world-class art collection. Lord Sainsbury was also a key figure in establishing the much-loved Sainsbury Archive.

The Trust asks that the family’s privacy is respected at this difficult time.