Youth theatre gets a helping hand from Arts Council cash

CHICHESTER Festival Youth Theatre has received a generous grant from Arts Council England.

The new scheme, focused on providing youth theatre activities in West Sussex has been awarded funding of just under £60,000.

The grant, given in recognition of the commitment CFYT have made to provide youth theatre activities across the county, will be put to use developing a three year programme of events.

They plan to create ten new youth theatre satellite groups for young people aged between ten and 19, which will meet weekly in locations such as Lancing, Billingshurst, Crawley, Storrington and Burgess Hill.

Dale Rooks, Youth Theatre Director for Chichester Festival Theatre, said: “We greatly appreciate this positive endorsement of the project from Arts Council England and the support we’ve received from West Sussex County Council. We are delighted to be working in partnership with schools across the county, The Capitol and Horsham District Council, drawing on their knowledge and understanding of this catchment area, to extend our existing satellite youth theatre service. Our new groups will offer high quality activities which will be inspiring, fun, and open to everyone.”

Among these will be a theatre group geared specifically for young people with learning difficulties. Currently the youth theatre is based at Chichester with smaller groups in Bognor, Leigh Park, Littlehampton and Midhurst. There are already over 600 people from 88 schools throughout the region participating in the activities they provide. This funding will enable CFYT to reach an even broader cache of people. CFYT is in partnership with The Capitol in Horsham, who have been granted the funding to set up a new two-year technical youth theatre course for 15-19 year olds.

The money has been provided through the Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts initiative.