The Wolfson Foundation's funding of the performing arts aims to support and promote excellence in the sector. In this context, excellence is defined by the organisation's artistic output and its critical reception within the sector and by national funding bodies.
Through investing in the infrastructure of performance and training venues, we seek to back the UK's most outstanding artistic companies. This may be through the renewal of artists' facilities such as dressing rooms or other back stage spaces, refurbishment of auditorium facilities such as seating, capital work relating to teaching, education and rehearsal spaces, or less often, specialist equipment.
We fund organisations demonstrating excellence and which are nationally significant, with the aim of producing the following outcomes:
- Improved quality of performance venues
- Better teaching, education and rehearsal facilities
- Increased audience numbers
- Improved future sustainability of an organisations
- Conservation of architectural heritage, including concert halls and theatres listed grade I or II*
Capital projects for the performing arts, including refurbishment, new build and major equipment/instruments, may be eligible for funding where:
- the total project cost exceeds £250,000
- the organisation has a record of producing work of national significance
- the organisation receives significant funding (generally of above £500,000 each year) as an Arts Council national portfolio organisation (or equivalent in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales), attracts a large annual audience, and the artistic output is of a high standard.
In all cases involving work to a building, the building should be owned, or held on long-term lease, by the applicant. Applicant organisations must be charities or organisations with charitable status.
A full list of exclusions is available here.
Applications for this programme can be made via the link to the right.
In November 2016 we launched the Wolfson/Theatres Trust Urgent Repairs Scheme in partnership with Theatres Trust. Through this programme theatres in need of immediate repair, and that could otherwise face closure, can apply for grants of up to £15,000.
We also have an interest in theatre heritage, and so organisations with concert halls or theatres listed grade I or II* may also be eligible to apply, where work is to the historic fabric of the structure (see here for information on our funding of historic buildings).
We also support future performers in the sector through our music education programmes.