Major cash boost will help disadvantaged Sussex youngsters access the arts

Chichester Festival Theatre Young Practitioners programme
Chichester Festival Theatre Young Practitioners programme

Chichester Festival Theatre’s Young Practitioners Programme has been awarded a grant of £19,000 over two years by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation – one of Britain’s leading charities supporting the arts and music.

Announcing a total of 16 grants worth £225,405, the Foundation has also awarded £15,000 to the Brighton Dome and Festival in May to fund a music bursary scheme for looked-after children and those from local families on low incomes, all aged 5-17.

In Chichester, the Young Practitioners Programme is open to 18-21 year olds based in West Sussex seeking to gain workplace experience and training within the cultural sector. The programme provides coaching, mentoring, masterclasses and experience-based learning over the course of an academic year.

The programme’s primary beneficiaries are young people from backgrounds and cultures that might place them at a disadvantage when starting out in their arts or cultural careers. It is designed to bridge the step into tertiary education or formal training and is particularly targeted toward those who may find this step challenging.

Lauren Grant, deputy director of Learning, Education and Participation at Chichester Festival Theatre, said: “We’re enormously grateful to the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation for their support of the Young Practitioners Programme. Their generous donation will help to further our ambition to provide rich opportunities for all young people, regardless of culture or social background, to be inspired, challenged and excited by the career possibilities available in the arts.

“We work with partners in the region working specifically with marginalised or disadvantaged groups of youg people to actively sign-post individuals to apply who would otherwise miss out.”

Since 2011, the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has given £20.5 million in grants and performing arts scholarships, positively affecting hundreds of thousands of people across the UK and beyond.

Andrew Lloyd Webber said: “Engagement in the arts changes lives. The positive impact of the arts on health, social mobility and wellbeing is now irrefutable. I passionately believe that everyone in this country, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, should be able to participate.

"I am thrilled my foundation is able to support projects that widen access, inspire creativity and deliver opportunities. Around the country, across the arts, many people are doing brilliant things to unlock talent and empower the next generation to succeed. We are proud to work with them.”

Applications for the Young Practitioners Programme for 2020/21 will open in June/July 2020.

Compelling cinema as Just Mercy hits the screens

1917 offers mesmerising descent into the horrors of World War One

PAW Patrol Live! heads to Brighton

Why 2020 will be an important year for Chichester City Band

Jojo Rabbit offers great cinema start to the New Year

Epic trek marks 60th birthday