July 22 2014 Latest news:
Kay Atwal, Chief Reporter
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
One of Newham’s major arts venues, Stratford Circus, has been allocated more than £900,000 over three years in the latest round of funding announced by the Arts Council.
The venue, which sits at the heart of Stratford’s entertainment district in Theatre Square, has also had its National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) status confirmed by Arts Council England from 2015 – 2018, meaning the venue is among those supported by the Arts Council.
The funding, approximately £301,738 per year, will help ensure the venue’s future, it only accounts for 30 pc of its income. As a charity, it raises and earns the remaining 70pc to keep its doors open.
The Arts Council has also said it will match capital investment from Newham Council with a grant dedicated to improving artistic facilities.
Clare Connor, director of the venue, said: “While we must raise and earn over 70 pc of our income, this much needed investment is vital to sustaining the artistic programme to meet the needs of our communities due to expand in east London, especially with the new developments in E20.
“It is wonderful to see the investment from Newham Council matched by Arts Council England allowing Stratford Circus to offer a truly first class service both to artists and audiences.”
“Funding from the Arts Council will provide much needed replacements for out-dated equipment while cash from Newham Council will allow us to upgrade our public facilities.”
Since obtaining NPO status in 2011 (the first time in its history) Stratford Circus has continued to grow its artistic programme. Last year was its busiest with a 202 per cent increase in ticket sales, a 75 pc increase in children and family audiences, and over 152,000 visits, culminating in a national Family Arts Festival award for Best Family Venue voted by the public.