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Funding boost for new children’s theatre

Theatre Hullabaloo

Darlington-based Theatre Hullabaloo has welcomed a £140,000 grant from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation 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 itself, which is being built within an Edwardian Fire Station on a site adjacent to the newly named Darlington Hippodrome, will include a 150-seat studio theatre, creative play installation space, café area, workshop/ rehearsal space, dressing rooms, toilets and external play space.

“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, but 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,” said Laura Case, development director at Theatre Hullabaloo.

Opening programme

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.

“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,” said Miranda Thain, creative producer at Theatre Hullabaloo.

Commeting on the funding scheme, a spokesperson of Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, explained: “The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation supports the artistic and financial sustainability of the arts sector and aims to enable the widest range of people to participate. We fund exceptional organisations developing timely and innovative approaches that will result in a better experience for artists, audiences and participants.”