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Major cash boost for The Civic

The Civic, Barnsley’s leading arts venue, has secured major funding for a community engagement programme to develop new audiences.

The £183,000 Esmée Fairbairn Foundation grant enables The Civic to develop a three-year programme of outreach activities in the local community.

Helen Ball, CEO of The Civic, said: “It’s incredibly exciting times for The Civic and for Barnsley. We have ambitious but tangible plans to increase our audiences across all art forms and build new relationships with local groups. Ultimately this fund enables us to become more sustainable as an arts organisation, to build new audiences, increase ticket sales and build support from local business.”

From 2019 to 2021, a new full-time role of Community Engagement Officer will deliver a programme of outreach activities and lead a volunteer recruitment programme for the venue.

The Civic has built a powerful reputation for supporting artist development and community groups. Schemes such as The Civic Artist Residency Programme has supported more than 70 artists in the last five years to develop new works. It also commissions new work from more established artists; this year it co-commissioned one of 2019’s most anticipated new shows from Gary Clarke, Wasteland, the sequel to his smash-hit COAL, which premiers in the spring. The arts venue also runs Cross the Sky, a theatre company for learning disabled adults and provides support to a number of community groups by providing opportunities for them to share their work.

Helen added: We have exciting plans for 2019 as The Civic reaches its 10thanniversary next autumn. Audiences can expect a showcase of national and international quality, fun family days out, new commissions and engagement activities for all. We are looking forward to celebrating our anniversary with our local community.’’

The Civic is currently running an ambitious £5m Connect Appeal to complete renovations and become a world-class destination for the arts. The vision is to open up the whole of The Civic to create a dramatic and inspiring series of spaces including a new theatre, café, and extended gallery.

The Civic recently received £1,000 for the Connect Appeal from Barnsley TUC Training Ltd, a small charitable organisation that exists to support the people of Barnsley.

A spokesperson from Barnsley TUC Training Ltd said: “Barnsley TUC Training Ltd share the values and objectives of The Civic, which is why we’re proud to support its Appeal. Our charity works to improve social wellbeing for those in need in our community, and culture and the Arts have the power to bring people together in a transformative way.”