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Funding for arts organisations' capital projects in the south west

  • Date: 23 January 2013
  • Area: South West

Four south west organisations have been awarded funding through the Arts Council's small capital programme.

The small capital grants will contribute to ensuring that arts organisations of all sizes have the right building and equipment to deliver excellent work for the benefit of artists and audiences.

In addition, the Lighthouse in Poole has been successful in the first stage of the application process for a large capital grant and has been invited to apply in the second stage.

The Arts Council's Capital programme aims to support organisations to become more sustainable and resilient businesses through the consolidation and improvement of existing buildings and equipment.

The Capital programme is funded from the Arts Council's National Lottery income.

Tobacco Factory
The Tobacco Factory will receive a grant of £121,988 to install a much needed new seating-system in Summer 2013. This will increase the capacity of the auditorium and greatly improve the experience for visitors to the Theatre. There will be more comfortable seats, higher quality viewing and sightlines, and improved access for audiences with mobility restrictions.

The Theatre will be able to show a wider variety of work, and with the capacity for greater audiences, the Tobacco Factory is planning for a significant growth in income.

Wiltshire Music Centre
The Wiltshire Music Centre will receive a grant of £371,065 to upgrade the technical equipment in their auditorium, allowing a wider variety of artists to perform. The upgrade will also enable the Centre to stream opera, ballet and music, and to transmit workshops and masterclasses to schools as part of their work with the Wiltshire Music Hub.

Wiltshire Music Centre also plan to make improvements to the outside of the building, investing in better signage and lighting, improving the foyer area to encourage more café customers, and improving the overall experience audiences have when they visit the Centre. Work is also planned for an office extension to enable the continuing growth of partnership and outreach work with new projects.

Somerset Film
Somerset Film will receive a grant of £ 250,000 to improve their community media centre at the Bridgwater Engine Room. The grant will enable them to extend accessibility to their training and technical facilities. The work will include new creative spaces, hot desking facilities for fledgling micro businesses, a research and library space and improved access and facilities for disabled people

North Devon Theatres
North Devon Theatres will receive a grant of £346,825 to upgrade their theatrical rigging system and orchestra pit, along with some building modifications. These changes will enable the theatre to stage larger scale shows appealing to wider audiences, improve disabled access, reduce running costs and improve experiences for artists and audiences. The changes will also create technical training opportunities for local theatre and dance companies.

Poole Lighthouse
Poole Lighthouse has been successful in the first stage of the large-scale capital funding programme and will be invited to complete a stage two application. This detailed application will be assessed for a potential £4million grant to make the building more energy efficient, improve access, improve the appearance and ambience of the building, create flexibility in the use of rooms and install new equipment. This work would benefit audiences of the Lighthouse and its resident orchestra - Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.