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Old Vic to receive £5m from Arts Council

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The Old Vic, the Royal Shakespeare Company and English National Opera are among 34 arts and heritage organisations set to receive £56 million in funding to increase their long-term financial security, it was announced today.

They will receive funding under the Catalyst: Endowments programme, a joint initiative between the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Arts Council England (ACE) and the Heritage Lottery Fund to enable organisations to attract private funding.

The Old Vic Theatre Trust will receive £5 million to create an endowment to support long-term resilience and arts activity, provided it can raise £15 million in match funding from other sources over the next three years.

An endowment is a large fund held in perpetuity to increase an organisation's long-term financial security, with interest earned by the fund contributing to annual running costs. They are common in the US, but less so in this country.

The RSC will receive £1 million in funding if it meets its match funding target of £1 million, while the ENO will receive £3 million if it can raise £6 million in match funding.

Other performing arts organisations awarded funding by the Arts Council include Opera North (£3 million) and Birmingham Royal Ballet (£1 million). To see a full list of organisations set to receive funding, click here.

Kevin Spacey, artistic director of the Old Vic, said: "This award is a real endorsement of the Old Vic, a celebration of what we have achieved together with our many collaborators from the theatrical community over the past nine years and an encouragement to philanthropists to match the Arts Council's generosity. It will serve to protect the future of this historic and important building and to ensure it is home to great theatre for generations to come."

Catalyst: Endowments is part of the wider Catalyst fund, which is investing £100 million to enable cultural organisations to diversify their income streams and increase private fundraising. In May, the Arts Council announced the 173 recipients of £30 million of funding through its Catalyst Arts: capacity building and match funding scheme.

For details of organisations awarded funding through this part of the scheme, which include Soho Theatre (£120,000), the Tricycle (£240,000) and the Chichester Festival Theatre (£120,00), click here.

Dame Liz Forgan, Chair of ACE 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 the bold artistic leaps that keep audiences coming. Catalyst Endowments and Catalyst Arts 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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