Darlington’s New Children’s Theatre secures grant

Darlington’s New Children’s Theatre secures grant

Darlington based Theatre Hullabaloo has welcomed a funding boost this week for its new children’s venue in Darlington.

Theatre Hullabaloo has received a grant of £140,000 from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to go towards the costs of programmes to engage young audiences and families.

Due to open in December this year, The Hullabaloo will be the only specialist theatre of its type north of London.

The venue is being built within an Edwardian Fire Station on a site adjacent to the newly named Darlington Hippodrome.

It will include a 150-seat studio theatre, creative play installation space, café area, workshop/ rehearsal space, dressing rooms, toilets and external play space. 

As a national centre of theatre for young audiences and an inspiring place to play and learn, it will present world-class performances for children, offer a wide range of creative opportunities and classes for families, and be a focal point for creative education.

Miranda Thain, Creative Producer at Theatre Hullabaloo, said: “This financial support, from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, is so important to the theatre and will enable us to put The Hullabaloo on the map nationally and internationally throughout a mind-blowingly inspiring three-year opening programme of work.”

“The funding means that the activity offered at The Hullabaloo in those crucial first years of opening its doors will be of the same quality and ambition as the building itself. It will also support a small producing company to transition into a new business model, attract new audiences and move closer to longer term sustainability.”

The Hullabaloo is a partnership between Theatre Hullabaloo and Darlington Borough Council.

The total cost for the capital development is £2.8m and is funded mainly through grants from Arts Council England and Darlington Borough Council but there is still funding to achieve.

Laura Case, Development Director at Theatre Hullabaloo, said: “This grant from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation provides us with funding to develop much of the magical creative programme we hope to achieve at The Hullabaloo.

“We are still actively fundraising in order to make the building itself everything we’ve dreamed of and still have more than £200,000 to raise.

“We are keen to talk to businesses and individuals who can help us achieve our target.”