Doncaster’s Cast venue awarded £960,000

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Cast, Doncaster’s new performance venue which opened in September 2013, has been awarded a total grant of £960,000 over those three years from Arts Council England.

The boost will see the Waterdale facility receive £320,000 each year between April 2015 and March 2018.

Kully Thiarai, Director of Cast, said: “We are delighted that Arts Council England have offered to support Cast with an uplift in funding.

“It really is a marker of confidence in the incredible journey we have been able to take audiences on in just a few short months, and validation that - as one of the UK’s newest arts organisations - we’re very much on the right track in achieving the Arts Council’s goal of “great art for everyone”. So far over 70,000 people have been through our doors in our opening months and have been wowed by what we’ve been able to achieve.

“It has been a challenging context for the organisation, opening a brand new venue in the current economic climate in a town that in a recent national survey came out with one of the lowest levels of engagement in the arts.

“Though not as much as we requested, this additional funding assists us in getting more aligned with other venues of our scale and ambition from across the UK. With this security in place we can plan the next four years with more confidence and give a stronger cultural voice to Doncaster.”

She added: “We are, however, acutely aware of the national context; its bittersweet knowing that other arts organisations are finding themselves in much more difficult circumstances and urge the government and local authorities to have the vision and strength to support the arts and cultural industries as an essential contributor to our towns and cities both culturally and financially. We will continue to ensure Cast is the “cultural living room” of Doncaster and that we support artists and communities to create and enjoy exceptional work.”

Arts Council England scored Cast “Outstanding” in meeting their goals, “Excellence is thriving and celebrated in the arts” and “Everyone has the opportunity to experience and to be inspired by the arts”.