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Old Vic leads endowment list

Published 20 June 2012

The Old Vic theatre is one of 18 arts organisations to have been granted a share of £30.5 million as part of the Catalyst: endowments scheme.

The Waterloo theatre will receive £5 million from the scheme, with the Royal Shakespeare Company (£1 million) and English National Opera (£3 million) also among the recipients.

The scheme, run by Arts Council England, the Department for Culture Media and Sport and the Heritage Lottery Fund, aims to aid arts organisations by helping them ‘build endowments that provide an annual income’. As part of the scheme, the organisations have committed to raising additional funding alongside the endowment, and had to propose how that money would be raised. The Old Vic aims to raise £15 million, with ENO committed to a further £6 million and the RSC £1 million.

The idea behind endowments, which are more prevalent in US cultural organisations than in the UK, is that the investments act like somewhat of a nest egg. The interest on the banked sum can then be used to help with the running costs of the organisation, enabling continued and greater artistic experimentation and growth, and advancements in touring, education and outreach.  

Speaking about the awards, Dame Liz Forgan, Chair of Arts Council England, said: “Public funding of the arts in this country is at the heart of their success. It enables organisations to attract private investors and gives them the confidence to continue to take bold artistic leaps that keep audiences coming. Catalyst will help support that public investment, increasing the sustainability of our world class arts organisations who bring delight to millions and play such an important part in our national economy.”

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