BBC Performing Arts Fund awards over £430K to UK theatre practitioners

I think the arts are really important, socially. As a society, it is something that can bring people together." Miriam O’Keeffe, Director, BBC Performing Arts Fund
Date: 05.12.2013     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 17.54
Category: Corporate
The BBC Performing Arts Fund has awarded over £430,000 to 19 Fellows and 58 community theatre organisations. Funding has been distributed across the United Kingdom with 78 per cent of the recipients based outside of London.

From a live performance inside the Scottish parliament to a production using Skype to include performers who are housebound, those funded through the 2013 theatre scheme are as diverse in what they produce as they are in their locations.

Benefitting from phone voting on The Voice and incidental revenue accumulated through telephone voting lines on BBC entertainment programmes like Strictly Come Dancing, BBC Performing Arts Fund (PAF) recipients include writers, directors and theatre groups.

Performers who have received support from PAF in previous years include Oscar-winning singer Adele, whose first recording equipment came courtesy of a grant in 2003 when she was just 15, as well as composer Mark Simpson, soprano Katherine Rudge and choreographer James Wilton.

PAF has, over the course of its 10-year history, contributed over £4 million to the UK’s performing arts sector, through its annual awards of grants for theatre, dance and music. Funding reaches both performers at the very start of their careers and people who have not previously received support.

As well as supporting individuals - 1,288 to date - PAF also allocates funding to community groups. Of the hundreds of applicants this year, 58 community theatre projects will benefit, with 487 community performances since 2002.

The 2013 theatre grants see the North West of England receiving 15 of the 77. At 19 per cent, it is the largest region outside of London to benefit, with 17 grants in London then nine apiece in South West England and Scotland.

Theatre Fellowships number 19, with each placement receiving £10,000 of funding. Fellowships will be completed over the course of the next year, receiving mentoring, training, development and networking opportunities.

PAF awards help to foster the next generation of performing talent in Britain.

Miriam O’Keeffe, Director of the BBC Performing Arts Fund, says: “I think the arts are really important, socially. As a society it is something that can bring people together. We support community groups and emerging talent. The money is made available through phone voting on BBC One entertainment shows, and we have an open applications process. This year we are supporting 19 theatre Fellows and 58 community theatre projects with over £430,000 spread right across the UK. 78 per cent of those supported are based outside of London. It’s been an amazing year, looking at the breadth of theatre happening around the country.”