Tax relief for theatre begins in September

Chancellor_of_the_Exchequer_George_Osborne Credit Foreign and Commonwealth Office

George Osborne hopes the tax scheme will revive and support regional theatre (Credit: Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

This month the government initiative providing tax relief for theatre comes into effect. Touring productions can apply for 25% relief, and non-touring performance a 20% tax credit.

A tour of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia will be one of the first productions to benefit from the scheme; the tour, launching in January 2015, is a joint venture between English Touring Theatre and Theatre Royal Brighton Productions.

George Osborne, speaking ahead of the initiative’s launch at Theatre Royal Brighton, said of the tax scheme: ‘Regional productions have sadly been in decline for many years, and that’s come and gone regardless of the Arts Council budget, but I hope this [tax initiative] will revive regional theatre and revive touring productions so that we have the great success of the West End, which has probably never been more successful than it is today, but we also have great successes around the regions.’

New report claims London bias in public funding of the arts

A newly published report has claimed that public spending in the arts is too London centric. The report, Rebalancing Our Cultural Capital, states that government spending in 2012/13 involved £69 per resident being spent in the capital, in comparison to the £4.60 per resident spent elsewhere in England.    


A new report reveals a majority of arts public spending is spent on a minority of residents in the captial

In 2012/13 £163m of arts public funding was circulated to organisations in London, while only £159m was granted to the rest of England.

The report, written by Peter Stark, Christopher Gordon and David Powell, does not take into account the £440m of local council funding toward the arts.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, chair of the Arts Council Sir Peter Bazalgette responded to the report, saying: ‘We need to do more … I would say judge us in two years’ time. The trend is towards more spending in the regions and that’s what we’ll be doing.’

National Youth Theatre receives emergency grant from Arts Council

A grant of £200,000 has been given to the National Youth Theatre (NYT) by the Arts Council to ensure the charity’s future is secure. NYT has struggled to meet this year’s fundraising targets like many theatre companies and arts organisations.

An Arts Council spokesperson said: ‘NYT has seen unprecedented growth in the last year, but unfortunately this has not been matched by its income, resulting in some financial difficulties for the charity.’

‘In recognition of the excellence of the work and importance of the NYT both to young people and the theatre sector as a whole, we have awarded a grant of £200,000 to enable it to meet current financial commitments.’

The Arts Council made it clear that this ‘extraordinary grant’ would be ‘conditional’, based on the changes that would need to be made to NYT’s operation to make it financially sustainable.

The National Youth Theatre was established in 1956 and claims that it was the ‘first youth theatre in the world’. Alumni include Helen Mirren, Colin Firth and Daniel Craig.

A spokesman for NYT said: ‘NYT, like many arts charities, is operating in a challenging economic climate and is currently experiencing some financial constraints. The Board and management are working closely with NYT’s major funders, including Arts Council England, to resolve these issues.’

The spokesman also noted that any students involved in any NYT activities this summer had no reason for concern about the developments: ‘National Youth Theatre’s summer acting and technical courses will not be affected by the current situation in any way. We’re looking forward to welcoming 500 new talented young people, from across the country, into our company this summer.’


Recommendations have been made in order to improve the state of England’s cultural learning after a report, undertaken by Classic FM’s managing director Darren Henley, found that ‘patchiness in provision of cultural education [remains] across England’.

The report suggested that, to improve cultural learning, students should study arts subjects up until the age of 16. Henley has said that cultural education in England could become ‘the envy of the world’ if the government are to take his recommendations on board. The Department for Education have now confirmed that they will invest over £15 million over the next three years in order to develop Henley’s ideas.

The coalition government’s backing of the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), which includes no studying of arts subjects, has been cited as one of reasons behind the problems in cultural education. Henley has suggested that there should be a ‘creation of a sixth grouping of subjects included in the EBacc, which would include cultural education subjects such as art and design, dance, drama, design technology, film studies and music’.

It was revealed today that many of the report’s recommendations have already been set in motion. There are plans for an academy for student film-makers, headed by the British Film Institute, and the creation of a national youth dance company which will be funded by the DofE and the Arts Council.

Education secretary Michael Gove said: ‘Britain has forged a well-deserved reputation in popular culture – in film, dance, music and art. But I want to introduce more children to high culture. Cultural education must not be a closed shop for poorer students. I want to end any suggestion that high culture is only for the privileged few.’

For more information and to view the report in full, visit

Arts Council and BBC create new online arts channel

Arts Council England (ACE) in partnership with the BBC are to launch a new online arts channel called The Space. The channel will contain work from theatres across the UK. The project will run from 1 May until the end of October 2012.

The Space is described by ACE as ‘an experimental digital arts media service and commissioning programme that could help to transform the way people connect with, and experience, arts and culture.’

53 applicants were successful in applying to create original commissions for The Space. Some of the notable entries include Pilot Theatre Company, Blast Theory and Bristol Old Vic. Two entries which will capture this summer’s Shakespearean festivities are The Globe, who will be documenting their Globe to Globe festival and the Royal Shakespeare Company, who are creating World Shakespeare Festival TV to capture the highlights from this summer’s performances.

Chief executive of ACE, Alan Davey said: ‘The Space is one of our most significant interventions of recent years and I’m delighted to be able to announce such exciting and imaginative contributions from artists and organisations. It will inspire a great generosity of spirit among the participating organisations, with each of them committed to documenting and sharing the journey they all are taking together.’

The Space will be accessible across four different platforms; PCs, internet connected televisions, smart phones and tablets. The resources will also be made available through video on demand on Freeview.

The project has been developed to coincide with the London 2012 festival and the many celebrations happening around the UK this year, including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games.  Roly Keating from the BBC said: ‘We believe we can make something really special happen to celebrate 2012’s unique summer of arts.’

To find out more about the participating applicants visit the Arts Council website. The Space ( will launch in May.

Fill you in Friday

It’s our second edition of Fill you in Friday… keeping you up to date with all the latest events and workshops coming up. Don’t miss out on the latest goings on in drama activities for teachers and students, Teaching Drama has all the information you need.

BETT show 2012

BETT offers over 100 workshops, seminars and discussions – all part of their ‘learn live’ initiative. 650 exhibitors will attend, offering IT solutions for teachers and showcasing the newest products available on the market.

The show is in its 28th year and has approximately 60,000 visitors coming every year. Come and visit for the latest developments in ICT technology for the classroom. Free to attend.

The four day event will be held at London Olympia from 11th-14th January.

To register visit

Arts Council
State of the Arts 2012 

Hosted by the Arts council and in association with Manchester and Salford City Council’s, along with the BBC, this year’s event will take place at The Lowry – a first for the event which has previously been held in London. Returning for it’s third year in February, the event will focus on the relationship between society and the artist. There will be a number of events, talks, debates and pre-conference entertainment available.

Book before 25th December and receive an early bird discount – however it is still fairly pricey.

Early bird tickets cost £80, full price tickets will set you back by about £110.

But for those who can’t afford the entry the Arts Council are offering 50 bursaries which will

cover: a ticket to State of the Arts including the pre conference arts events, travel and one night’s accommodation. Information about how to apply for a bursary will be announced on their website on Monday 12th.

For more information visit

New issue of Teaching Drama out soon!
Spring 2 issue

Our newest issue is out Monday 19th December … and it’s a Shakespeare special!

*World Shakespeare Festival 2012 highlights,
*Shakespeare Schools Festival,
*A review of The National Theatre’s The Comedy of Errors.

Plus all of our regular features, news and reviews to keep you up to date with what is happening in the drama education world.

We are also giving you a very …. SPECIAL OFFER FOR CHRISTMAS

If you order a subscription of Teaching Drama before 31st December, you’ll receive 50% off!
Visit to buy yours.

NAYT cuts jobs due to loss of funding

The National Association of Youth Theatres (NAYT) has had to make job cuts in order to stay in business. All but one of NAYT’s employees will be made redundant by the end of the year. They have also closed their office in Darlington in an effort to stem costs.

The educational charity has suffered major funding losses which has led to drastic job cuts. The Department of Education withdrew their contributions leaving them reliant on council funding. NAYT was then dealt a further blow when in March, when the Arts Council announced that NAYT, one of  the regularly funded organisations, would lose all funding provided by the council.

Jill Adamson, Chief Executive, who will remain the charity’s only employee, said in April: ‘It’s totally soul-destroying to see our organisation suffer and struggle for survival when it has played a vital role in supporting both grass-roots and high-profile organisations for almost 30 years.’

The £240,000 loss of funding has left NAYT struggling for survival. The charity was hoping to raise £100,000 by the end of the year to ensure future operations in 2012. NAYT announced in a statement that to stay in business they would charge registration fees to its members – as they had previously before being asked by the Arts Council to cease in doing so as they were a regularly funded organisation.

To learn more about NAYT visit