News: Derby Theatre remains as an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation

Derby Theatre is thrilled to announce that it will remains as part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio which
will result in it receiving a total amount of £2,428,884 over the next 3 years (£809,628 per annum) to support
key strands of the Theatre’s programme of work from 2023 to 2026.

Arts Council England (ACE), the UK’s leading cultural funder, will support Derby Theatre for another three
years as a National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) from April 2023. Along with the Theatre’s unique partnership with
the University of Derby, this award will ensure that the Theatre can continue to make professional home-grown
productions here in Derby, attract the best of touring theatre to the city, support artists and enhance our unique
relationships in the heart of the community where we deliver transformational arts experiences for people of all

Across the UK, Arts Council England have invested £43.5 million in Levelling up, to back art, culture and creativity for
more people in more places across the country. In total, 990 organisations will receive a share of £446 million (each
year). There has been a 20% increase in organisations delivering creative and cultural activity for children and young
people, including joiners to the portfolio. Overall, Arts Council England has invested in a richly varied mix of

Across Derbyshire, 17 organisations will receive a share of more than £4.5 million (each year) including Derby
Theatre and other city-based organisations, Baby People, East Midlands Caribbean Carnival Arts Network
(EMCCAN); Artcore, Déda, Derby QUAD, Sinfonia ViVA and Derby Museums. Across the East Midlands, 73
organisations will receive a share of more than £23 million (per year). (See accompanying press releases for full

Given the intense competition for Arts Council England funding at this time, Derby Theatre is particularly grateful to
remain as a National Portfolio Organisation and to be recognised in this way for its unique model as a Learning
Theatre and its innovative partnership with the University of Derby. 

Sarah Brigham (Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Derby Theatre) said:
“I am pleased that Arts Council England has decided to continue funding us as a National Portfolio Organisation. This
award is testament to the hard work our staff team have undertaken over the last 4 years.  When the pandemic hit,
we did not close our doors but turned our attention to helping the most vulnerable in our community – from food
packages for Care Leavers, to workshops for key worker’s children and our staff team, to online digital plays.  Since
reopening, we have produced critically acclaimed drama, entertaining family shows and in-depth community arts
projects across our city.  This award is in recognition for how Derby Theatre plays a crucial role in the lives of Derby
citizens.  A huge thank you must also go to the University of Derby, who continue to support the Theatre, and to the
audiences and communities who continue to show their passion for the venue, as well, of course, to the staff and
trustees who have worked tirelessly to ensure that we have built on our artistic vision of being at the heart of the
community of Derby, and beyond, and steered us through these tough times.

Sadly, In Good Company, the Midlands’ multi-partner artist development scheme which Derby Theatre leads on,
was unsuccessful in its application to become an NPO. However, we will work with IGC to support them through this
disappointing news, and to help ensure that their vital work for the ongoing development of the sector continues to
thrive. To all independent companies and freelancers who receive disappointing news, my heart goes out to you,
there will be other paths; and we, and the brilliant In Good Company, are here to support if we can.”

Professor Kathryn Mitchell CBE DL, Chair of Derby Theatre and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said:
“We are delighted that Derby Theatre has retained its status as an Arts Council England National Portfolio
Organisation. The Theatre plays a significant role in our city, providing cultural vibrancy and prosperity.
Our unique Learning Theatre model, in partnership with the Theatre, offers students, the community, and the artistic
industry, a range of innovative learning and participation experiences. This renewed recognition from Arts Council
England will ensure that these valuable opportunities continue to develop.”

Peter Knott, Midlands Director, Arts Council England said:
“Derby Theatre is at the heart of the city’s thriving cultural scene and produce theatre that entertains and inspires
us. It’ll be great to see them create a programme which brings together artists, academics and audiences, as well as
supporting Deaf young people and actors from low socio-economic backgrounds in Derby and beyond.”


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