- Date: 31 July 2014
- Area: South West
Credit: Freya Scott
A capital project to repair and upgrade vital equipment at the Nuffield Theatre in Southampton has received a vital boost with the announcement of a £195,000 award from Arts Council England.
News of the capital award came on the same day that the Nuffield Theatre was announced as one of the 83 organisations in the south west which will be in the National portfolio for 2015/18.
With this investment, Nuffield will be able to replace flying, lighting and sound equipment and ensure the building is fit for purpose to produce high quality contemporary theatre. The new technology will also help the theatre to become more energy efficient and improve resilience and sustainability.
Sam Hodges, Creative and Executive Director for the Nuffield Theatre, said: 'To have received capital funding from ACE at a time like this is a ringing endorsement of the importance of Nuffield to the city of Southampton and the wider theatre ecology. Bold, innovative design and high-quality production values will be central to the future of Nuffield's work over the next few years, and the opportunity to transform our theatre into a 21st century producing theatre space is critical.'
The Nuffield Theatre was opened on the University of Southampton campus in 1964 and became an independent producing theatre 18 years later, pioneering international work and establishing an award-winning youth theatre and education programme. Sam Hodges was appointed Creative and Executive Director in 2013 and announced a team of Associates to support his new creative vision, together with a group of Associate Actors including Tom Hiddleston and Celia Imrie, who will act as ambassadors for Nuffield.
Alongside the upgraded facilities, which will open up opportunities for training and skills development for staff, students and professional/non-professional theatre makers, the organisation has launched a new artist development programme Nuffield Laboratory. The Laboratory is a space where Nuffield can collaborate with theatre-makers from Hampshire, the South and across the UK to explore new creative ideas or to hone and develop their theatrical craft, a creative hub for exploration and discovery.
Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said: 'This award will help The Nuffield carry out the essential work needed to produce high quality contemporary theatre for audiences in Southampton and further afield. By investing £180,000 through our National Lottery-funded Capital programme, we are helping to secure the future for the organisation.'
Find out more about our Capital programme for 2015/18 at www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/our-investment-2015-18/strategic-funds/building-resilience/.