The Theatres Trust is the national advisory public body for theatres in the UK. Set up by the Government through an Act of Parliament in 1976, it works to promote the better protection of theatres for the benefit of the nation.

The Theatre Improvement Scheme is a collaboration between the Theatres Trust and the Wolfson Foundation. It follows on from a successful pilot called the Urgent Repairs Scheme pilot and ran initially as a three-year programme from 2018 to 2020. The Wolfson Foundation renewed its support for the scheme in 2024, with a further £510,000 in total to be awarded over the next three years.

The scheme supports charitable theatre operators in the UK to carry out capital projects to improve their theatre buildings. Projects must fall within a specific theme each year.

The current theme for the fund is Improving Environmental Sustainability as this is an urgent priority for the sector.

Grants of up to £20,000 are available.

To be eligible, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Own or manage theatres with titles or signed leases of more than five years on buildings in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
  • Demonstrate that they run a year-round programme of live performance, of no less than 30 performances a year.
  • Have a bona fide UK charitable or not-for-profit legal structure and be able to provide certified or audited accounts for at least two years. This can include local authorities or town and borough councils that own and/or operate a venue.
  • Have the permission of the property owner and any relevant planning body to do the work required.
  • Operate theatres that achieve excellence through their producing and programming and/or community engagement and/or architectural significance.

Grants can be used for capital costs of building or equipment.

The theme for applications is Improving Environmental Sustainability. Funding will be given to projects that demonstrate how a small intervention can have a big impact on reducing the theatre’s environmental impact.

Grants support a range of projects that consider different ways theatre buildings can reduce their environmental impact, for example:

  • Sedum roofs.
  • New windows.
  • Building management systems.
  • More efficient water heaters.

Deadline 6th September 2024

Read more here