Posted: Thu 5th May 2022

Major private funders pledge substantial support to Theatr Clwyd’s redevelopment

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, May 5th, 2022

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Theatr Clwyd has received substantial gifts from some of the world’s biggest private philanthropic funders in supporting its major capital redevelopment.

The Flintshire based arts charity has taken a substantial step towards its £5m private and public fundraising target with major donations and pledges from The Moondance Foundation, The Wolfson Foundation, the Garfield Weston Foundation and an anonymous local philanthropist.

The organisation is also continuing their award-winning community work during the build thanks to major support by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Theatr Clwyd’s redevelopment has now received gifts exceeding the previous highest amount raised by a theatre in Wales, and also the biggest ever single-gift made to an arts organisation in Wales from The Moondance Foundation.

Theatr Clwyd’s redevelopment is one of Wales’ most culturally significant projects – described by Welsh Government as key in bringing social, economic and cultural benefits to North Wales.

It will ensure that the building, which has deteriorated with all its systems and infrastructure having reached the end of its life, can be revitalised, with its vital role, services and programmes saved for future generations.

The project will deliver a much-improved visitor experience, dedicated spaces for community and engagement programmes and enhanced income-generating facilities, all within a greener, more efficient building.

Liam Evans-Ford, Theatr Clwyd’s Executive Director said: When we started on this capital journey in 2017 we were told it was unlikely we would raise more than £2m of private investment for a theatre in Wales.”

“Due to the generous support of these lead funders we have already reached £3m.”

“This is an empowering vote of confidence for Theatr Clwyd, our values, the quality of our theatre making, and our deeply important community work.”

“It also means we take another step towards delivering a world class home for our company members and communities, and offers another reason for arts in Wales to be proud for generations to come.”

“We look forward to working in partnership with these brilliant lead funders over the coming years to deliver significant impact for their investment in our journey.”

Making the largest ever private gift to an arts institution in Wales, The Moondance Foundation’s gift of £1.5m will fund safe, natural, accessible spaces, specifically designed for the needs and use of young people.

It will also support the environmental sustainability of this state-of-the-art building.

Moondance is well-known as a major philanthropic funder who support organisations that have a transformational impact in communities in Wales and beyond.

Diane Briere de I’Isle Engelhardt, Founder and Chair of The Moondance Foundation said: “Theatr Clwyd are exceptional – leaders within their field, ambitious, innovative – all with the community at the heart of what they do.”

“We knew, without a doubt, that we needed to make their voice heard and ensure their ground-breaking work continues.”

“We are also thrilled to support Theatr Clwyd’s environmental sustainability vision.”

The Wolfson Foundation have committed £500,000 towards the project – the largest grant they’ve made to an arts organisation in Wales in over 60 years.

Focusing on ensuring the development of world-class artistic product and talent in Wales, this vital funding will ensure well-equipped rehearsal rooms, high-tech theatres, and open-to-all pathways for new artists, practitioners and creatives.

Paul Ramsbottom, CEO of The Wolfson Foundation said: “The Wolfson Foundation is delighted to support Theatr Clwyd’s landmark project, continuing our history of support for Welsh arts and culture.”

“Our level of commitment – the highest for a performing arts project in Wales – reflects our enthusiasm and support for Theatr Clwyd’s ambitious vision for the Flintshire community and for the arts in North Wales.”

The Garfield Weston Foundation has also pledged £500,000which will be a “crucial element” in Theatr Clwyd’s capital fundraising campaign and “will ensure broad access to the arts for everyone in society, through the improvement of vital creative infrastructure.” Theatre bosses said. 

The Esmée Fairburn Foundation has given an award of £300,000 to ensure that Theatr Clwyd’s acclaimed community and youth programmes which sit at the heart of the organisation’s mission continues throughout the development.

While the substantial building work takes place creative engagement projects – including projects with at risk young people, those with early-onset memory loss and dementia and school-based civic-responsibility programmes – can continue to thrive and grow. 

Charlotte Mulliner, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation’s Funding Officer, said: “Theatr Clwyd play an integral role in the Mold and wider Flintshire community – not only for arts and culture, but also in bringing people and organisations together to build thriving and inclusive communities.”

“We’re thrilled to support this project, which aims to build on their work during the closure period to re-imagine more ambitious community-led programming.”

The over £3.3m of funding gifts and represents a major step towards Theatr Clwyd’s fundraising target, with further announcements of fundraising partners to be announced later in 2022.

The project has also received public funding from Welsh Government, the Arts Council of Wales and Flintshire County Council, enabling the successful attainment of this substantial private and philanthropic funding.

Neal Cockerton, Chief Executive of Flintshire County Council said: “This is a dynamic period in the theatre’s history – the future is looking bright with the theatre continuing as a vital and vibrant arts centre at the heart of our community”

Phil George, Chair, Arts Council of Wales, added: “Theatr Clwyd richly demonstrates that impact through its high-quality and eye-catching productions, its community outreach and its work in areas like Arts and Dementia and youth justice.”

“This redevelopment will further energise all that work and be a major benefit to the people of north-east Wales.”

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