Wolverhampton Central Youth Theatre saved for next 12 months

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Under-threat Central Youth Theatre has had its future secured for the next 12 months, it was announced today.

The theatre group was one of 12 voluntary organisations to have its local authority funding axed amid cuts by Wolverhampton City Council.

But bosses today revealed funding has now been found, which means the 30-year-old group will be able to continue running its activities for the next year.

Leaders have stressed there is still work to be done to secure its future beyond that.

The group had received £13,000 a year from Wolverhampton City Council.

See also: Petition to save Wolverhampton Central Youth Theatre signed by 1,400

But the axe fell on that funding amid voluntary sector cuts of around £1.6 million, which were approved earlier this year, despite a hard-fought battle by campaigners.

Jane Ward, director of Central Youth Theatre, today said £10,000 has been granted to the group through the Local Education Partnership.

She said: "It is brilliant news for us.


"It means we have a bit more time and a bit more breathing space while we raise the money needed for the year after that. It's a big relief."

Ms Ward, who has an MBE, added the group had also received a £2,300 donation from Eton College to mark its 30th anniversary.

"We know the council has been put in a very difficult position with a huge cut in central government funding, however we have been very humbled by the support we have received in the last few months," she said.

News of the loss of its grant sparked a petition which gathered 1,400 names and even attracted the support of Wolverhampton soul singer Beverley Knight.


The group is also holding a charity gala on May 29 at 7.30pm at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre.

It is hoped The Hilarity Charity Gala will help to raise enough money to fund the group for 2015 to 2016.

The line-up features Josie Long, who has appeared on Have I Got News for You, star of stage and screen Isy Suttle. She is known for playing the character of Dobby in sitcom Peep Show, and also stars in sketch group Pappys, which appears in BBC3's Badults.

Welsh comedian Elis James will also be there, performing along two other TV headliners whose names will be released in the next few weeks.

Both have appeared on Live at the Apollo. The show will be hosted by comic Daniel Kitson and tickets are available on 01902 429212.

Wildside Activity Centre and Wolverhampton Samaritans are two other groups which are losing their council funding under the £1.6 million voluntary sector savings. Seventeen groups will continue to receive funding from the city council for the next financial year only, while 12 more will still be funded beyond that.

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