In February 2012, the government published Cultural Education in England: an independent review by Darren Henley for the Department for Education and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. A key recommendation in this report was that: 'A new permanent national youth dance company should be created and funded'.

Applications to this fund are now closed and the successful applicant, Sadler's Wells, has formed the new National Youth Dance Company (NYDC). The company provides 90 talented 16 to 19-year-old performers with intensive training and performance opportunities led by world-leading choreographers. It also offers talented young people from all backgrounds the chance to develop the high level performance skills needed for a professional career in dance.

The Arts Council is the lead funder of the company together with the Department for Education, which is match-funding the project. The Arts Council manages the relationship with the company over the course of the funding period September 2012 to 31 March 2015.

Funds available

Funding for the National Youth Dance Company is confirmed at up to £400,000 per year for 2012-15.

Aims and outcomes

The primary purpose of the national company which supports 30 talented 16 to 19-year-old performers each year for three years is to:

  • improve the delivery of arts opportunities for children and young people through its role as a flagship national organisation providing technical training and creative development not available elsewhere
  • combine the development of high levels of contemporary and ballet technique with diverse creative performance opportunities, led, choreographed and directed by world-leading choreographers

The National Youth Dance Company is one of a number of delivery mechanisms for Goal five: Every child should experience the richness of the arts..., within our 10-year strategic framework for the arts, Great art and culture for everyone.

Download the commissioned grant guidance to find out more about the aims and outcomes of the National Youth Dance Company.