Worcester city-centre church awarded £23,000

St Swithun's in Worcester is announced as the recipient of £23,000 award by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation.

The foundation, which gives grants to support aspiring actors, musicians and craftspeople has given the award to support a 12-month paid heritage skills apprenticeship, as part of a wider arts and culture project at the city-centre church.

This award follows news that the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded £1.6m to enable St Swithun's to be repaired, conserved and transformed into a cutting edge space that creatively uses sound and art to engage, enthuse and inspire a greater connection between local people with their cultural heritage and history.

The award is part of a scheme to break down of barriers to engagement in the arts and heritage. Many of the organisations rewarded will use their grant to specifically engage young people and those from hard-to-reach and minority backgrounds. This follows on from last December’s Centre Stage report, which urged the theatre profession to take action to improve the pipeline of diverse talent into the arts.

In total, the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has awarded grants worth £686,133 to 28 projects this month, including more than £175,000 for projects conserving and promoting heritage. The Foundation’s active grant giving programme has awarded over £18 million since 2010 to support the enhancement of arts education, participation and increasing diversity across the sector.

Other recipients this month include the Welsh Heritage Angel Awards (CADW), the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, Gainsborough House, National Youth Theatre, New Vic Theatre, Punchdrunk, Warwick Arts Centre,  Ulster Orchestra, Urban Vocal Group and William Mathias Music Centre.

Andrew Lloyd Webber said‘One year on from the publication of the Centre Stage report I’m delighted my Foundation is able to fund such a wide range of projects across the UK that help erode the barriers to careers in the arts and heritage for young people from all backgrounds. The report encouraged other funders and philanthropists to do the same.  I urge everyone who can to get involved and support the development of diverse talent across our industry.  I’m also particularly thrilled to see that we will have Heritage Angel Awards in Wales next year and will be able to celebrate the vital work that people contribute to saving our heritage right across the country.’