Senior staff from Studsvik, the recycling group based in West Cumbria, visited Theatre by the Lake in Keswick last week to meet young people taking part in a festival supported by the company.
Stusdvik, which operates a metals recycling plant at Lillyhall, Cumbria, donated £2500 towards Breaking Boundaries, a celebration of the work of young people. Theatre by the Lake has been able to double the value of the gift thanks to Arts Council England’s Catalyst Arts funding project, which aims to help arts organisations find new financial support.
“The opportunity presented by the Catalyst Arts match funding programme means that Theatre by the Lake can double the value of our donation towards the Breaking Boundaries festival, which is just fantastic,” said Sam Usher, President of Studsvik in the UK. “This means that Studsvik’s donation can have even greater impact, and will enable even more local young people to take part and to develop their creative and social skills.
“At Studsvik we are proud to back our local communities, and I am delighted that we work so well with Theatre by the Lake, to help and support the development of young people in West Cumbria.” Studsvik already has a close relationship with Theatre by the Lake, having sponsored its youth theatre in Workington for the last two years.
Paul McDonald (Senior Vice President) and Vicky Cooke (Marketing Manager) dropped in on rehearsals as 110 young people aged from eight to 18 from Theatre by the Lake’s three youth theatres in Workington, Cockermouth and Keswick prepared to showcase their work in the theatre’s Studio for three days. Studsvik also sponsors the Workington youth theatre.
All the work of the youth theatre members was devised, developed and performed by the young people themselves, with the theme Breaking Boundaries used as the artistic stimulus. The festival also included a semi-professional production of Moth to the Flame, a play written Annie McCourt, Theatre by the Lake’s Head of Education and Participation, for young people, plus performances by other organisations.
Patric Gilchrist, Theatre by the Lake’s Executive Director, added “At a time when public funding for the Arts is diminishing, donations to Theatre by the Lake have assumed even greater importance. In particular, if we are to sustain our arts engagement work with young people, we must look to enlightened organisations and individuals who share our belief in the power and importance of the arts.
“Studsvik’s generous gift is our first ever corporate donation towards our youth theatre work – and the Arts Council’s Catalyst scheme enables us to double the value of Studsvik’s support.”
“Breaking Boundaries was a huge success and we are very grateful to Studsvik for its generous support. We hope Breaking Bounds will the first of a series of annual festivals in which the region’s young people can show off their amazing creativity,” said a Theatre by the Lake spokeswoman. “We were delighted that all three performances played to packed audiences.”Theatre by the Lake can make the most of Studsvik’s generous donation because it is one of 173 organisations awarded funding from an Arts Council England scheme called Catalyst Arts: capacity building and match funding. For a limited period, Theatre by the Lake can claim £1 to match every £1 it receives as a donation. The money can be matched with cash gifts from individuals, couples and families; companies; and grant making trusts and foundations.