Newcastle-under-Lyme’s the New Vic Theatre has received a grant from the Denise Coates Foundation to ensure the organisation’s future as a vital resource for the local community, and as a producer of high quality theatre, following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The grant of £1,004,830 has been awarded by the Foundation with the aim of ensuring that the New Vic can recover following the impact the last year has had. The grant will also allow the theatre to make the greatest possible difference to the economic, community and artistic recovery of Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire.

The significant investment is committed to enabling the theatre to continue producing shows made in Staffordshire and delivering activities within the community from this summer and into 2022, and goes alongside the continued investment from Arts Council England and local funders.

The pandemic has meant that whilst the New Vic were able to take some of their community engagement work online with virtual workshops, and outdoors on high streets and in gardens and parks, the theatre’s income from its activities over the past 18 months has been drastically reduced due to long periods of enforced closure. This grant recognises the significant role the theatre plays in the cultural life of the area and the crucial impact it makes for thousands of local people.

Theresa Heskins, New Vic Artistic Director said: “We are so grateful to the Denise Coates Foundation for this generous grant. This support will allow us to continue producing innovative productions and grassroots work in the same New Vic style that our audiences and participants know us for. The New Vic was built by the community and is for the community. It has never felt more important for us to be a place where all members of our local area feel welcome, and with the support from Denise Coates Foundation, we will continue to be able to offer the same high quality productions and activities that we are both locally and nationally celebrated for.”

Denise Coates CBE, Denise Coates Foundation founder and Trustee said:  “The area is blessed to have the New Vic on its doorstep. It delivers high quality productions in an in-the-round setting. We should cherish what we have and do all we can to ensure that the Theatre has a viable long-term future.  I am pleased that the Foundation was able to help.

“As we emerge from the effects of the pandemic, for some, the Arts will be a source of great joy. Society has suffered so much over the last 18 months and the New Vic will play an important part in returning enjoyment and happiness to people’s lives.”

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