Newport Live has been successful in securing funding for The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre from the Arts Council of Wales and has received £126,770 of funding to help safeguard the future of the theatre and to retain jobs.

The funding, which covers the period from October until March 2021, will be used to facilitate the delivery of artistic activity for people in Newport, working with and supporting other artists and independent creatives in South Wales. The Riverfront will also be working with the education sector to deliver a creative programme that engages with children and adult learners across the city. The theatre and arts centre also plans to develop new work in the areas of arts in health and social prescribing to support people’s wellbeing.

An additional £50,000 of capital funding has also been awarded to enable the theatre to develop the foyer into a covid-safe performance space with an updated catering offer. Whilst performances in the main auditorium at the theatre have now been cancelled up to the end of March 2021, it is hoped that The Riverfront will be able to reopen soon for classes, workshops, digital productions and as a welcoming space to meet and enjoy a coffee, before being able to bring shows and performances back to the venue.

Steve Ward, Chief Executive of Newport Live who are responsible for running The Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre said “We are extremely grateful to the Arts Council of Wales for this funding which has helped us to secure the future of The Riverfront and jobs for some of our team. We are waiting for the Welsh Government to confirm when the theatre can be re-opened to the public and are working with our partners on alternative approaches for use of the building by Newport Live and other organisations. In the meantime, we are seeking to introduce other creative and digital ways to support customers and local artists, to deliver artistic activity and to support wellbeing whilst we are unable to welcome people into the building.”

The Arts Council grant forms part of The Welsh Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund to support the arts sector which is facing urgent financial difficulties.

The funding comes following a previous successful application from Newport Live to the Arts Council of Wales’ Stabilisation fund for Organisations earlier this year. When it is safe to do so, this grant will be used to enable The Riverfront to launch a programme of classes, workshops and educational materials developing from the theatre’s current programme including dance, music, drama and arts-based fitness classes.  This will include working with partners as well as commissioning local artists who will be supported with access to The Riverfront’s facilities to help take their current programme online and develop new work.  

To find out more about The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre visit http://www.newportlive.co.uk/riverfront  or follow The Riverfront on social media at @TheRiverfront on Facebook or @RiverfrontArts on Twitter and Instagram.

Newport Live is a non-profit distribution organisation and charity which delivers fun, inclusive and accessible arts and sports programmes in our community for children, families, schools, sports clubs and local groups across the city. You can find out more about how you can support The Riverfront and Newport Live here: http://www.newportlive.co.uk/support-us/