Lottery raises curtain for cut-price performances

A London theatre company will be offering subsidised Pounds 1.50 tickets to school and college students, thanks to National Lottery money.

The Tricycle Theatre was one of 112 organisations to win a share of Pounds 9 million under the Arts Council's Arts for Everyone scheme, announced this week.

Tricycle's Pounds 494,000 grant will fund an innovative Youth Arts card, allowing students in the company's home borough of Brent to see its performances cheaply.

Tricycle artistic director Nicholas Kent said: "We are absolutely over the moon. This award will not only allow us to issue cards to 16,500 people aged 14 and over, but also to premiere seven new projects with particular emphasis on Black and Irish work."

London received the largest number of awards in the first round of Arts for Everyone, with 27 grants totalling nearly Pounds 5 million.

Graham Devlin, acting Secretary-General of the Arts Council said he was overwhelmed by the popularity of the scheme which had attracted 1,000 applications.

He said: "The range of awards made have placed particular emphasis on culturally diverse work, arts for the disabled and have targeted new and young audiences."

The highest award, of Pounds 500,000, went to Nottingham Playhouse for the Hothouse project, a programme of developing, new work with and for young people, through workshops.

Mind the Gap, a performing arts company in Bradford which works with people with disabilities, received Pounds 302,050 to run an apprenticeship for 10 young people with learning difficulties. It will culminate in the launch of the Clients Theatre Company, a new arts organisation managed by people with learning difficulties.

Education Extra - a national charity which aims to put after-school activities within the reach of every child - was also successful. Their award of Pounds 88,200 will fund up to 45 arts projects in a one-year programme in 15 local education authorities.

The National Rural Training Forum received Pounds 497,385 for a programme aimed at young people with limited access to the arts. The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain was given Pounds 150,000. The Poetry Society received Pounds 450,000.

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