The Arts Council England has awarded the Live Theatre in Newcastle upon Tyne a £923,000 grant as part of its Sustain funding programme.

Sustain is a £40 million investment that aims to provide extra support for successful cultural organisations to sustain artistic excellence during the current period of economic downturn.

The grant will be used to cover the loss of rental income as well as loss of income from sponsorship, foundations and trusts. It will also allow Live Theatre to progress its enterprising ideas for generating new income streams as well as developing the theatre’s assets to help to sustain the company into the future.

As Jim Beirne, chief executive of Live Theatre explains:

“We are thrilled that the Arts Council was able to recognise the innovative ideas put forward as part of our application and decided to offer us a significant investment from the Sustain programme. This is an endorsement of Live Theatre as a powerhouse of ideas – innovative and enterprising as well as a producer of arts and education work of the highest quality."

The theatre will used the funding in the development of its building, in partnership with the Cafe 21 group, to create a lively, thriving new eatery and drinking establishment which will generate an annual income for the theatre. This money will then be invested back into Live Theatre’s core business.

Mark Robinson, executive director from the Arts Council England, North East said:

“Live Theatre is a world class producing theatre. The Sustain award will allow Live Theatre to maintain the quality of their artistic output and address the pressures faced through a reduction of income from fundraising.”