Derby Theatre handed £923,000 Arts Council grant

Derby Theatre
Image caption Theatre bosses have developed a three-year plan for the venue, formerly known as Derby Playhouse

Derby Theatre is to receive £923,000 of Arts Council funding over the next three years, it has been announced.

The University of Derby, which took over the running of the venue in 2009, said it was also contributing £1.5m of its own cash.

Theatre bosses said the investment would help fund three in-house professional productions in each of the next three years.

Arts Council England said the venue had put forward a "compelling case".

Peter Knott, the organisation's regional director for the East Midlands, said: "I'm delighted we are now in a position to fund Derby Theatre to ensure the city will be the hub for a wide range of creatively ambitious theatre.

"This will be theatre made in Derby for local audiences."

'Positive and exciting'

Theatre manager Gary Johnson said his team had worked with the Arts Council on a three-year development plan for the venue, which opened in 1975 but closed for a period in 2008 when the trust in charge of it ran into financial troubles.

The plan includes the appointment of a new "artistic leader" and increased involvement with schools and amateur dramatic groups.

Mr Johnson said: "We are extremely grateful for the Arts Council's guidance over the past few months in helping us to realise the potential for the funding and how it can be best put to use.

"The future for Derby Theatre looks to be a positive and exciting journey ahead."

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