Boost of £58k for arts development scheme

A new programme which will strengthen an arts centre's relationships with families and young people has succeeded with a key funding bid.

Thursday, 14th April 2016, 8:33 am
Updated Thursday, 14th April 2016, 8:37 am
Claire Newton, Alnwick Playhouse arts development manager, with her son Leander.

Alnwick Playhouse has been informed that it will be awarded £58,000 from Arts Council England to support its arts development programme – Creative Cocoon.

Under the guidance of Playhouse manager, Jo Potts, and arts development manager, Claire Newton, the programme will start this month and continue through until October 2017.

The programme will build on the creation of the storytelling chair in 2014 and lead to the creation of a bespoke storytelling area.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Focused around both consultation and presenting work for, by and with children and young people, it will see the creation of a bespoke storytelling area for use by the community that will also house the storytelling chair created in 2014 by members of Alnwick Playhouse’s mini youth theatre group and artist Alison Ashton.

It will support the Playhouse to bring innovative and specialist artists and theatre companies specialising in work for children and young people, with the added benefit of affordable ticket prices.

Plus, the programme will also give students and young people the opportunity to feed into programming decisions and take part in Takeover Events, leading towards them gaining their Silver Arts Award.

Roy Todd, chairman of Alnwick District Playhouse Trust, said: “We as a board are absolutely thrilled to welcome such an ambitious programme into the building and look forward to welcoming lots of new families and young people, as well as offering projects to those who have been working with us on an ongoing basis.”

The programme will build on the creation of the storytelling chair in 2014 and lead to the creation of a bespoke storytelling area.

And given the opportunities presented by the deal with the county council and the investment in the Playhouse, this project offers a perfect way to build for the future.

Jo said: “I am thrilled we have an opportunity to strengthen the offer for families and young people at the Playhouse via the new arts development programme which is called Creative Cocoon; the support from the Arts Council allows the Playhouse to deliver on a scale which will receive both regional and national recognition.

“The news of the future investment and partnership with Northumberland County Council could not come at a more opportune time.

“Family programming has been difficult to address because we have not had control over the programming of the Studio space which has belonged to NTC.

“We have also been restricted by the layout of the building, but now we have a real chance for change and I look forward to working closely with the NCC team.

“Also, through Creative Cocoon, there is the opportunity to engage with families through consultation to get the design and layout of the building right for the future while offering some fantastic programming and creative arts projects along the way. Watch this space!”

Claire added: “I am so excited to share the plans for the arts development programme with the community.

“I am confident that the programmes are innovative and will be life-changing for those who take part.”

The programme will launch with Preggers, a show about family – being in one and starting one of your own – by award-winning, Newcastle-based theatre company Curious Monkey. You can ‘pay what you feel’ to see it on Tuesday, June 28, 2pm or 7.30pm.