Sheffield theatre group calls for help after missing out on £13m windfall

Theatre Delicatessen's old premises on The Moor in Sheffield
Theatre Delicatessen's old premises on The Moor in Sheffield
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A pop-up theatre group says its move to a new venue in Sheffield will go ahead despite missing out on funding.

Theatre Delicatessen had applied for money from the Arts Council but was not among the 11 groups in the city which shared a £13m bonanza from the organisation, announced yesterday (Tuesday, June 27).

The Hare and the Tortoise was among the recent productions at Theatre Delicatessen

The Hare and the Tortoise was among the recent productions at Theatre Delicatessen

The company had for the last three years occupied the former Woolworths store on The Moor but is moving to a former Mothercare store on Eyre Street, in the city centre, this autumn.

It said it was 'disappointed' to miss out on Arts Council funding and claimed it was harder for newer and more regional arts organisations to secure grants.

Theatre Delicatessen said the grant would have supported its work in the city over the next four years. It has now set up a fundraising page and appealed for public donations.

Roland Smith, the group's co-artistic director, said: "We are, of course, disappointed with the Arts Council announcement, particularly as our conversations with them had seemed so positive.

"The demands on Arts Council by larger and more established organisations means that it is difficult for younger, local and regional arts organisations to break through.

"We are committed to continuing our work with people from across the Sheffield community. We will just have to work harder to raise the money we need."

Theatre Delicatessen had transformed the old Woolworths into a creative hub, hosting theatre groups from across the UK and supporting local artists.

It recently staged events in the Migration Matters Festival, and other productions have included The Hare and the Tortoise and an interactive production of The Great Gatsby.

The company is moving to make way for phase three of The Moor's redevelopment.

Sarah Sharp, producer at Theatre Deli Sheffield, said: "We are asking our supporters to pledge what they can to help support Theatre Deli in the short term as we move to a new Sheffield venue. Once that is established we will be able to revise our future plans and look to other income sources."

Sheffield Theatres Trust, which runs the Crucible and Lyceum theatres, was awarded £5.1m by the Arts Council this week. Sheffield Museums received £3.2m and there were also grants for nine other cultural bodies in the city which were awarded National Portfolio Organisation status.