Cash lifeline announced for Cast Theatre to help it re-open and grants for other Doncaster arts groups

Doncaster's largest theatre has been handed a £121,000 lifeline to help it back towards re-opening.

Friday, 2nd April 2021, 7:24 am

The Cast theatre, at Sir Nigel Gresley Square, is one of a handful of organisations in Doncaster which will receive money from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund, announced this morning.

This award will support Cast to re-open its doors and make vital connections with audiences and communities

Having opened in 2013, over 100,000 people visit Cast in each year, and officials regard it as a distinctive arts centre, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Cast, Doncaster. Picture: NDFP-13-10-20 Doncaster 15-NMSY

The 620-seat theatre presents a wide-ranging programme throughout the year, including music, dance, children’s shows, comedy and drama.

As well as the main auditorium, a second space within the venue can accommodate up to 200 people and features small-scale touring shows and ‘early career’ artists.

It was due to host the Royal Ballet last year before lockdown hit the plans.

The Government says the second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery.

Deborah Rees, executive director, at Cast: “We’re so grateful and relieved to be recipients of the second round of the culture recovery fund. During this challenging past year, we have worked really hard to stay in touch with our audiences and communities but nothing beats the joy of seeing people come together.

“This grant will support Cast as we re-open our doors and create vital creative connections across the borough and beyond.”

Higher Rhythm, which runs a community recording studio located near Doncaster town centre, receives £29,983. Doncaster Creates, which runs cultural events across the borough, receives £37,500.

Juliet Farrar, executive director at Doncaster Creates said: “One of our lockdown priorities was to seek out independent creatives to see if we could help them keep working with their communities, even if just in a small way. We've heard how creativity has enabled a sense of togethernes, gave outlet to unheard voices and hidden talents , which has been so valued over this difficult time. This grant means continued work to skill share, spotlight talent and enable a range of people to show how Doncaster has and can host the best creativity, and the important part this plays in renewal.”

South Yorkshire’s biggest grant, £754,000 went to Sheffield Theatres Trust.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.