Derby Theatre awarded core funding from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Derby Theatre receives key funding to support its work with local children, young people, communities and artists.


Derby Theatre is thrilled to have been awarded £120,000 of core funding, in total over the next three years, from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to support its work with local children, young people, communities and artists.

The grant will be used to consolidate, and further develop, the nationally unique Derby Theatre Learning Theatre model, which sees creative learning opportunities woven into the theatre process, at all stages, for learners of all ages. Within Derby Theatre, the model influences the day-to-day decisions made by staff working at all levels in the organisation. Externally, the Learning Theatre has entered into, and impacted on, the lives of artists, communities, schools and colleges throughout the region. It has influenced cultural debate locally and nationally, and Derby Theatre has become an exciting and innovative arts model for the future, gaining recognition and praise at the highest levels by both government and Arts Council England.


Esmée Fairbairn Foundation previously supported the development of the Learning Theatre model from 2013 to 2016, and that original support from such a well-respected organisation really helped Derby Theatre position itself, on a local, regional and national level, with artists, the industry and other funders. This new funding will now help the Theatre to progress its work with local children and young people, communities and artists.

Sarah Brigham (Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Derby Theatre) said: “I am delighted that Esmée Fairbairn Foundation has decided to continue their support of Derby Theatre until 2019. Derby Theatre is unique in the way we integrate quality professional produced theatre with tailored learning opportunities for the next generation of artists. With this funding from the Foundation, we can now further develop our Learning Theatre model, with the support of the University of Derby, so that we have an even bigger impact on audiences, participants and artists.”

Professor Kathryn Mitchell (Trustee of Derby Theatre and Vice Chancellor of the University of Derby) said: “It is absolutely fantastic news that a funder with the reputation of Esmée Fairbairn Foundation wants to continue their support for innovative theatre making in Derby over the next 3 years. This core funding by their trustees, is a clear endorsement of our Learning Theatre model and the links it has forged between artists, audiences and learners of all ages in the region.”


More information about Esmée Fairbairn Foundation: Esmée Fairbairn Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for people and communities throughout the UK both now and in the future. We do this by funding the charitable work of organisations with the ideas and ability to achieve positive change. The Foundation is one of the largest independent grant-makers in the UK. We make grants of £30 – £35 million annually towards a wide range of work within the arts, children and young people, the environment, social change and food. We also commit up to £35 million in social investments in organisations that aim to deliver both a financial return and a social benefit.


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