Norwich arts venue celebrates £500,000 funding boost
- Credit: Teele Killing
Norwich performing arts centre The Garage is celebrating a £500,000 funding boost which will enable it to give more young people the chance to experience the arts.
The Chapel Field North venue will receive the money over three years from the Youth Investment Fund.
The funding will allow The Garage to recruit two more members of staff for its youth work team, run more arts activities aimed at helping children in challenging circumstances to access the arts, and support the training and professional development of local artists, support workers and volunteers.
It will also allow The Garage to invest in new facilities including a new music rehearsal space.
Adam Taylor, The Garage's executive director, said: 'I am delighted to be able to unveil this funding. It represents a significant investment which will have a substantial impact on the depth and quality of the support we are able to provide to our growing number of participants, while recognising the quality and value of our well-developed approach to youth arts work. From providing greatly enhanced facilities with our new dedicated music rehearsal space, to ensuring the quality of our pastoral care matches our artistic output, it means that we will be able to ensure that every session delivered by The Garage team meets our highest standards of excellence.'
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Specific courses the funding will support include: The Garage's foundation programme for children and young people with challenging circumstances including a new dance foundation course; a musicians development programme for beginners; and the GCSE drama course.
In general terms, the funding will play a role in helping The Garage run more than 50 courses and help provide 3,400 hours of support work for young people facing challenging circumstances. It will help about 1,000 young people engage with the arts and support the training of more than 100 arts professionals and volunteers working with young people.
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The Youth Investment Fund is funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Big Lottery Fund.
The Garage's autumn term starts on September 18, and new for this term is a youth theatre class for ages seven to 13. Look out for a free youth theatre class voucher in this Friday's Norwich Extra. For more about courses at The Garage, visit www.thegarage.org.ukHistory of The Garage
The Garage has come a long way since it first opened its doors in 2004.
The starting point was a partnership between North Earlham, Larkman and Marlpit Development Trust, Norwich Theatre Royal and a new charity that became The Garage Trust. The aim was to give opportunities to young people from all backgrounds and it saw the former coachworks and Howes car showroom transformed into a youth arts venue following a £3.5m revamp.
Early on, The Garage hosted outside arts organisations and community groups, until The Garage Trust became independent in 2006 and began to develop its own programme as well. The Garage's own class programme began in 2009 and since 2011/12 has also included adult classes.
While based in Norwich, The Garage also reaches out to young people based across the region. It also champions new professional theatre and in 2011 Garage hosted its first professional show.