Maltings nets £500K grant funding boost

Matthew Rooke
Matthew Rooke

One of Berwick’s major success stories is set to go from strength to strength thanks to a half-a-million pound grant from Arts Council England.

The Maltings Theatre and Cinema has secured continued Arts Council funding for the next three years, scooping a total of £529,162 for the 2015-18 period.

In 2011 The Maltings received a huge percentage increase in funding, when its yearly grant was quadrupled from £42,000 to over £175,000.

Tuesday’s announcement means that the Eastern Lane facility, which has blossomed in recent years, attracting top comedians, dance shows and theatre companies as well as providing a stage for local performers, can continue as a successful arts hub for the region.

Chief executive and artistic director Matthew Rooke said: “Just two years ago we received one of the largest percentage term Arts Council grant uplifts of any arts organisation in the country.

“I am delighted that in the short time since then we have proven the value of what we do to give the Arts Council the confidence to consolidate this funding right through to 2018.

“This massive vote of confidence means that we can continue to do those things which inspire and are loved by our local community, bringing the best talent that is out there to Berwick and celebrating the wealth of creativity that exists in our own community.”

The Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival is also celebrating retaining funding after being awarded £143,740 for the 2015-18 period.

The Arts Council, which added the festival to its portfolio in 2011, will continue to back it to the tune of just under £50,000 per year.

This will help organisers produce Berwick’s innovative and internationally-acclaimed film and media arts festival, which takes over some of the town’s most unusual locations for site-specific commissions, installations, screenings and live events.

Festival director Melanie Iredale said: “We’re really pleased that we are still in the portfolio and we will continue to work with the Arts Council to achieve our aims.”