Watford Palace Theatre Announces Weston Culture Fund Grant Award

Watford Palace Theatre Announces Weston Culture Fund Grant Award

8 February 2021

We are delighted to announce that the Garfield Weston Foundation has awarded Watford Palace Theatre (WPT) a Weston Culture Fund grant, a very substantial £315k investment in new Take Part youth and community activities designed to support young people, who have been so severely affected by the pandemic.  We will deliver these exciting projects in collaboration with a range of local specialist partners.

This visionary grant will enable our ambitious plans for:

A Young Company, giving opportunities for local young people aged 16-25 to develop creative and transferrable skills, and increase diversity in the sector

A Community Play, supporting community cohesion and civic pride, in partnership with Cathartic Arts, Watford African and Caribbean Association, and One YMCA

A Take Part Youth Exchange – bringing youth together through shared cultural exchange across the Three Counties, in association with Herts Inclusive Theatre, and Next Generation Youth Theatre in Luton.

A Youth Board  – to help to establish a youth voice in our programme development and ensure a community led approach.

A Digital Stage for young people – expanding our Palace@Home digital platform

Watford Palace Theatre Artistic Director and Chief Executive Brigid Larmour said:

 ‘We are incredibly grateful for this major investment into the town during the pandemic.  It is a statement of faith in Watford Palace Theatre’s ambitious vision for empowering and supporting our diverse local young people, whose lives have been so severely impacted by Covid19.

Our Take Part team has been doing amazing work across Watford and the surrounding area for many years, and this much needed funding boost means that now, when young people have been through so much, this visionary grant will enable us to invest in the future of our community, in these challenging times.’

Maria Todesco and Nicky Day, Directors, Cathartic C.I.C., said:

'What an outstanding achievement by the incredible team at the Watford Palace Theatre, this news brings such positive hope for the future moving forward, after what have been, and still are, such trying times. We are excited to see how this vital, empowering, and creative work with local people develops and we feel honoured to be working with the Watford Palace Theatre on future creative projects with our local community'

OneYMCA statement :

One YMCA are delighted to hear the news that our friends at Watford Palace Theatre have received substantial support from the Garfield Weston Foundation. Youth work between WPT and One YMCA has been a regular feature for a while, bringing together valuable opportunities to use skills that a creative arts environment offer the young people One YMCA work with week in week out. This funding will ensure that this work can continue and grow alongside initiatives with other local partners, who have a  focus on supporting young people in our area, providing them with the widest range of activities and possibilities to thrive.