Cash boost for West Yorkshire Playhouse confirmed

Bosses at the West Yorkshire Playhouse are breathing a sigh of relief after Arts Council England confirmed a £1.4m grant to "develop new opportunities and explore new ways to create and present a range of excellent artistic work".

Nothing was certain in the current climate of cuts but the venue has been singled out as one of a number to benefit from Lottery money to fund research projects being conducted by the Arts Council.

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A small number of organisations willing to consider change have therefore been singled out for help which will also include development, refurbishment and improvement of their existing premises.

Lessons learned will be shared with the wider arts sector.

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The West Yorkshire Playhouse will receive a total of 1,466,000 to

implement its programme, which includes significant organisational change which will be implemented under full Arts Council scrutiny.

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Artistic director at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Ian Brown, said: "We are being given the chance to look at every aspect of our business model and establish what currently works and what needs revitalising for what is certainly a leaner and more challenging cultural sector.

"This exercise can and will only make us a stronger and more determined, producing theatre that the people of Leeds can be proud to have at the centre of their city."

Arts Council regional director, Cluny Macpherson, added: "Organisations like the West Yorkshire Playhouse need to develop new business models and ways of working so they can respond to and influence the changing environment in which they work.

"We want arts organisations across the country to be really strong businesses so they can continue to enrich all our lives. This research will help the Arts Council decide the most effective ways of helping organisations do just that."

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