The Social Enterprise Investment Fund has awarded Plymouth’s Barbican Theatre with £80,000 to go towards a new incubation hub and rehearsal studios, which will in turn create a new vibrancy around the city’s creative industries.
As a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England, the Plymouth Barbican has been garnering recognition for its work with diverse young people and new artists, since it was founded in 1980 as an outreach theatre-in-education company.
In the shadow of London’s West End, many smaller scale regional theatres often struggle to fight for funding or recognition – yet over 90,000 people visited the Barbican last year, as well as 140 young people taking part in theatre and dance workshops each week. This project will accommodate the increasing popularity of the theatre with three new custom-built rehearsal spaces and an incubation hub for young people.
‘Words cannot describe how delighted we are to have been awarded this funding,’ says Sheila Snellgrove, Company Director and co-founder of Plymouth’s Barbican Theatre. ‘Thanks to their investment, we will be able to create eight new jobs for young people in the creative industries, boosting the local economy and contributing to the city’s ambition to increase graduate retention.’
Councillor Chris Penberthy added that ‘Barbican Theatre has encouraged hundreds of young people into theatre – not just actors, but producers, engineers and technical staff. Barbican Theatre is very important for the work they do to involve those who feel left out of the mainstream and for the next generation they nurture. We are pleased to be able to invest in the growth of the Barbican Theatre, allowing them to continue doing more of what they do and bring disused premises back to life.’