Touring scheme is successful in its bid for cash support

Trifle Gathering, Highlights Community Touring Scheme
Trifle Gathering, Highlights Community Touring Scheme

A rural touring scheme which brings shows to various venues in north Northumberland has been successful in the latest round of National Portfolio funding by the Arts Council.

Highlights, one of the largest rural touring schemes in the country, works with a network of 85 venues across Northumberland, Cumbria and Durham.

Its successful application was submitted as a partnership bid with Arts Out West – the scheme that covers West Cumbria. The funding amounts to £359,400, from 2015 to 2018.

Barbara Slack, from Highlights, said: “This is great news for Highlights and for the communities we serve. This funding ensures that we can continue to bring the very best in small-scale touring from regional and national performance companies into the heart of rural Northumberland.

“It allows us longer-term planning to be able to build on our success to date and, together with county-council funding, ensures our foreseeable future.

“It’s not all plain sailing from here. With continued budget cuts in public spending, we will be looking to secure other revenue streams such as sponsorship to continue our current level of activity.

“In a funding process that has seen winners and losers in our region, we are thankful and pleased with this funding announcement.”

Highlights works in partnership with 25 volunteer promoters in village halls and community venues spread across Northumberland including Whittingham, Howick, Craster, Amble, Bamburgh, Wooler and Seahouses.

Highlights’ new autumn season starts in September.

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