Stephen Joseph Theatre Grant Award

Alan Ayckbourn’s home theatre, the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, has received a grant of £84,893 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help it recover and reopen.

More than £300m has been awarded to over 2,700 cultural organisations across the country in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced last week.

The theatre has announced it will use the allocation to support a production in the summer season, which is due to be announced shortly; towards the filming of productions; and to aid the re-opening of the venue from mid-May onwards.

Last year, nearly 89,000 people attended an event at the SJT; it’s estimated that the theatre contributes over £4.5m to the local economy.

Over £800m in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

Caroline Routh, Executive Director of the SJT

Caroline Routh, Executive Director at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, said: “We are enormously grateful to the Government for their support. We’re aiming to have the SJT back up and running in time for what promises to be a busy summer for Scarborough – we want to be there for both visitors to the town and for locals, who have been our constant supporters through this difficult past year.”

The second round of awards will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced. Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said: “Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work. We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.”

The funding awarded today is from a £400m pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.

The SJT will be announcing its programme for the forthcoming year imminently including details of the world premiere of Alan Ayckbourn’s latest play. Subject to current lockdown regulations, the SJT plans to re-open to the public on 17 May and further details can be found at

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