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London Theatres Small Grants Scheme


The Mackintosh Foundation is to donate £25,000 to launch the new London Theatres Small Grants Scheme, set up by The Theatres Trust to help small theatres in London needing to improve and maintain their buildings.

The Theatres Trust has been working with the Mayor of London’s Office to set up the London Theatres Small Grants Scheme, which is a dedicated capital fund to help small theatres lever in other sources of investment, particularly philanthropic support.

It follows the London Assembly investigation led by Tom Copley AM into the challenges facing the capital’s small theatres. The investigation found that over 75% are in need of capital investment for major repairs or upgrades, but have limited capacity to secure the funding they urgently need.

The Mackintosh Foundation is the first organisation to make a donation to the London Theatres Small Grants Scheme, which will now offer grants of up to £5,000 to small theatres across London. The Mackintosh Foundation hopes other organisations and individuals will match its contribution and help provide a much needed new injection of capital funding for small theatres in London.

Mackintosh Foundation trustee Sir Cameron Mackintosh said: “The smaller theatres of London provide an irreplaceable training ground for creative talent both on and off the stage. They are a major reason why the British theatre is the envy of the world and the West End stage delivers so many brilliant productions. Brilliant performers and productions are found in the most unlikely venues and these unique spaces are vital to the fabric of our theatre. They desperately need capital sums spent on their own fabric to enable them to continue to operate safely. I applaud the Mayor’s Office for having recognised the important role they play in the arts chain and the success of London and am delighted to contribute to such an essential Fund.”

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “London’s small theatres are of fundamental importance to the capital’s unrivalled cultural mix. As well as being much loved palaces of drama and entertainment they are seedbeds for the writing, production and acting talent that are crucial to the success of our city’s world-beating Theatreland Cameron Mackintosh is once again putting his money where his mouth is to support theatre in London. I urge more individuals and companies to step into the spotlight to back these cultural gems around the capital.”

Tom Copley AM, rapporteur for the London Assembly’s Economy Committee’s report into small theatres, said: “The Economy Committee’s report ‘Centre Stage’ highlighted how small theatres face threats to their existence and the risk of closure without the right support. I am really pleased with the impact this piece of work has had in instigating the launch of the London Theatres Small Grants Scheme. London isn’t just about big West End productions and this money will provide a very welcome boost to the capital’s small theatres. It’s great to see action has been taken and we hope other recommendations we made in ‘Centre Stage’ are also implemented. Small theatres need our continued support to grow and flourish.”

Applications are now open and The Theatres Trust will accept applications for small capital projects up to £5,000 from small independent, commercial, subsidised and amateur theatres, and open air venues that are under 300-seats in Zones 1 and 2 and under 500-seats in outer London.

Tim Eyles, Chair of The Theatres Trust said: “This donation helps build the Trust’s capital grant giving role in London. We’re aware of over 100 small theatres that could benefit from this Scheme and we anticipate a high level of demand. I’d be pleased to invite more donors to come on board and match The Mackintosh Foundation’s kind donation. With the Mayor of London’s support we plan to grow the London Theatres Small Grants Scheme and keep the small theatres of London thriving.”

Details about how to apply to the London Theatres Small Grants Scheme can be found at

Notes to Editors

The Theatres Trust
Protecting theatres for everyone
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