Wolverhampton Grand Theatre receives Arts Council emergency grant

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre has been granted a £30,000 funding bid from Arts Council England.

The Grand Theatre's memory cafe
The Grand Theatre's memory cafe

In April 2020 Arts Council England announced a 160 million emergency response package to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A proportion of this money was set aside for Non-NPO organisations of which the Lichfield Street theatre is one.

Consultant Hardish Virk has been working with the Grand for the last eighteen months predominantly leading the South Asian Ambassador group and now, thanks to the funding will continue into 2021.

He said: "The debate around diversity, inclusion, access and equality is nothing new to the arts sector, but what is satisfying is when an arts organisation commits to strategic development and change.

"Wolverhampton Grand Theatre has demonstrated over the last 18 months a cross-departmental commitment to developing South Asian audiences (who make up a high percentage of the local ethnic population but historically has not been reflected in the theatres' audiences).

"This has included a process of setting up an ambassadors' group; addressing representation on the board, staff and in the programming; developing local and regional partners; community outreach work; audience development campaigns; cultural awareness training and mentoring for existing staff.”

Hardish Virk, Jay Singh, Peter Chand, Jaivant Patel, Vicky Price, Ranjit Khutan, Pushpa Alexander and Ram Singh at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

“There has already been significant organisational development in terms of learning, representation and partnerships plus an increase in South Asian audiences but we recognise that sustainable change and development requires long-term investment.

"Which is why the Arts Council England investment is integral to the theatres' commitment to developing this work.

"I look forward to continuing my relationship with the Grand and its' partners as we move forward with this exciting and important project."

Grand Theatre associate director of development and communications, Vicky Price, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive this funding from the Arts Council.

"The work carried out by the dedicated Grand Theatre team has created a huge sense of pride and accomplishment.

"As an un-funded organisation, we have previously used our own finances to carry out this work.

"We are now facing a challenging in time in the wake of Covid-19, therefore knowing that we have the funds ring fenced for this is extremely comforting.”

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