The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation is donating £150,000 to help fund the Royal Court Theatre’s Studio programme, which supports new and emerging playwrights.

The money, which will be donated over two years, will go towards the Young Writers Programme, graduates of which include Laura Wade, Polly Stenham, Simon Stephens and Lucy Prebble, and The Unheard Voices Programme, aimed at engaging new writers to “increase the diversity and representation of stories on our stage”.

Lloyd Webber’s wife Madeleine, a trustee for the foundation, said: “The work the Royal Court undertakes with young writers, many of whom are from minority communities, is of great value … I’m therefore incredibly pleased that we are providing funding to help sustain the Royal Court’s Studio which makes a significant contribution to new writers.”

Artistic director of the Royal Court Dominic Cooke added:  “The Studio is absolutely integral to the Royal Court and the work that has come out of it in recent years has been extraordinary … I’m delighted that the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation shares our commitment and their generous investment in the programme will help a whole new generation of writers flourish.”