£1m plus boost for culture in the county

Hereford Times: Courtyard cash boost Courtyard cash boost

THE Courtyard and one of its key partners have together secured more than £1.2m in “show can go on” funding over the next three years.

This morning, the Arts Council, England (ACE) confirmed the Courtyard as qualifying to keep its funding as  a national portfolio organisation.

That is worth £636,000 over the next three years.

And, as part of that national portfolio programme, the 2Faced Dance Company has secured £576,000.

ACE funding is invested in a range of events,  shows and activities across the Courtyard’s cultural offer. It is also vital for the outreach projects run by the centre.

Courtyard chief executive Ian Archer said the funding was “fantastic news” for a county.

“The provision of culture is an important part of who we are with some great achievements over the last three years, including producing touring theatre from the county - we look forward to continuing that success over the next three year and more,” he said

Roger Morgan, Chairman of The Courtyard, said the funding award was confirmation the centre’s “high quality” cultural offer.

“This will ensure that we can continue into the future,” he said.

Funding for Courtyard based 2Faced comes as the company faces its 15th anniversary.

Artistic director Tamsin Fitzgerald said the award demonstrated a commitment to the work that 2Faced Dance has been undertaking over those 15 years.

“We believe that this is just the beginning of many exceptional things to come.  This uplift in our funding from £95,000 a year to £192,000 a year is fabulous news,” she said.

With the ACE support 2Faced can achieve its ambition of a full time dance company permanently based in Hereford to tour nationally and internationally.

The company can also extend its ongoing learning and participation programme for children and young people to a national  take up and engage with a coming  initiative to improve opportunities in the UK for female choreographers.

2Faced has been a national portfolio organisation (NPO) since the programme’s start in 2012. For the period of 2012-2015 the programme provided funding to a portfolio of 696 organisations throughout the UK with 2Faced successfully secured £285,715.

This latest round of funding (2015-2018) saw ACE receive 1,333 applications submitting bids for a total of £1.4billion. The available grant in aid budget for the portfolio is £956.5million.

2Faced merges urban styles such as break and street dance with contemporary and classical ballet.

The company's education offer includes weekly community dance classes in Hereford and its surrounds, a gifted and talented programme with a junior and youth company, and a UK wide  schools workshop programme.

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