As the National Lottery celebrates 20 years of funding Good Causes, we take a look at how the arts have benefited from their generosity.
On the 19 November 2014, the National Lottery celebrated 20 years of Good Causes, a fund which has raised and invested £32 billion for projects and charities across the UK. The Arts receives 20% of Good Causes funding, and a recent infographic by World Lottery Club has revealed that 40 UK towns have received at least £1 million to fund their theatres.
Funding like this is crucial to our theatres, many of which are registered charities which rely on grants and donations in order to not only maintain themselves but furthermore continue to improve their services and facilities. So how exactly have our theatres benefitted from Good Causes funding?
The National Theatre, on London’s Southbank, has benefited tremendously from Good Causes funding via the Arts Council and the Heritage Lottery fund respectively. In 2012, it received £17.5 million to help with upgrades and in 2013 it was awarded £2.5 million to restore and enhance its 20th century modernist building. This most recent grant will help to restore the Cottesloe auditorium as well as improve education and volunteering opportunities.
As well as investing money in individual theatres, Good Causes funding has also helped to fund projects that focus on promoting the Arts. The First Theatre project by MakeBelieve Arts received funding to expose primary school children in deprived areas of London to the magic of the theatre. The project helped to develop two interactive shows for children who had never seen live theatre before and allowed them to participate with professional actors.
The Young and Talented theatre school in London also received Good Causes funding which paid for 50 young people from deprived areas of the capital to join their 39 week programme free of charge. Eight of these people went on to win the CBBC Sport Relief Does Glee Club 2012.
These are just some of the ways that Good Causes funding has supported UK theatres. You can find out more about how funding has helped by searching on the Good Causes interactive map.