Funding boost and happy new year for Playbox

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Playbox’s 2018 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Inset, the Dream Factory.

PLAYBOX Theatre enters 2019 with an ambitious vision after receiving a funding windfall.

They are to receive an investment from Arts Council England of £75,429 together with £29,406 from Warwick District Council’s Rural/Urban Capital Improvement Scheme (RUCIS) fund. The £104,835 investment enables Playbox to develop The Dream Factory in Warwick to create unrivalled facilities for the arts with young people.

The company, who are in their 33rd year of working for and with children and young people, will be using the funds to implement what they are calling their Futures Project. Under the project the company’s Dream Factory base will undergo a major overhaul. The improvements include: redesign of its front of house area, development of meeting rooms, digital signage and café facilities, and creation of a new multi-purpose studio, which will have full digital and multi-media capabilities. There will also be a full technical infrastructure update to the theatre’s lighting, sound and communication systems; while staff will benefit from digital training and improved IT support.

Mary King, founder and executive director of Playbox Theatre says: “This is the best possible start to the New Year. The Futures Project is core to ensuring that the work of the company continues to serve the community of young people in the years to come. We thank Arts Council England National Lottery Fund, and the huge support we receive from Warwick District Council RUCIS fund and our own fundraising body, the Friends of Playbox.”

Emily Jane Quash, artistic director, adds: “This comes at a pivotal time for Playbox. The company is now in its 33rd year, and is about to celebrate the 20th birthday of The Dream Factory. We are delighted that this funding decision demonstrates a belief in the work of our company, and highlights the value of investing in young people and the arts. We cannot wait to start work!”

It is anticipated that The Dream Factory will be completed by May 2019 and will remain open throughout the development work.

The Dream Factory opened in 1999 and is a creative collaboration between Playbox Theatre, Glenn Howells Architects and Sceno-Plus (Montreal). It stands on land provided by Warwickshire County Council.

Playbox Theatre is a key client of Warwick District Council, providing artistic quality and experience for young people in the region.

Final word goes to Stewart McGill, Playbox consultant director, who says: “As well as being wonderful affirmation of our work over the years this great news also makes us more than ever determined to provide every child with access to arts participation in the region. The decline of arts education across schools is tragic and I hope we can play our part in ensuring that young people have every opportunity to engage with their ideas as artists.”