Project information

Performing Arts Education Programme

We believe in the power of the arts to change people’s lives for the better. This programme is a major part of our work, providing access, excellence and performance opportunities in the arts for the North Devon region, a rural area amongst the 5% most deprived in the UK.

January 2016 - March 2017

Charity information: North Devon Theatres

North Devon Theatres logo
  • Need


    The rural, low paid economy in North Devon creates a number of barriers for people to access the arts. Cuts to other services which have traditionally provided creative opportunities to the community have been decimated in recent years. Against this backdrop, our provision takes on significant importance as it offers so many people of all ages, the chance to participate. Without it, opportunities to realise creative potential in North Devon would be severely diminished.


    Our programme includes a wide range of art forms: music and vocal tuition, drama, musical theatre, dance, acrobatics and circus arts. The Landmark Theatre is turned into a hive of activity, energy and inspiration as our participants attend their sessions, school holiday projects, workshops and residencies with artists. Students can attend to develop personal skills, to gain a qualification, or to develop the skills and experience required for a future career in the arts.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Community – provide access for and contribute to our community


    » We ensure that we offer projects which reflect the entry point and needs of the people around the theatres
    » We aim to give people the chance to think outside socially reinforced stereotypes, make brave choices and grow into self-determining adults
    » We contribute to the lifelong learning of people of all ages by developing their skills and social networks in ongoing and time-limited projects
    » We support other charities and events in and around our isolated area of Devon, getting our participants out into the wider community

    Success will be programming a varied calendar of events in & out of our buildings which generates around 20,000 places for people of all ages

    Aim 2

    Excellence – attain technical training and qualifications


    » We support our students to achieve RAD & ISTD exams; at higher levels these offer UCAS points, aiding their ambitions for University applications
    » Through their ongoing training, participants develop technically accomplished work for performance on our stages and beyond
    » Our experienced, qualified staff offer a safe learning environment for students of every ability

    Excellence is demonstrated through pass rates of technical exams (we aim for 100%) and in offering additional pastoral support where required

    Aim 3

    Performance – offer unrivalled performance opportunities on our professional stages


    » Stage experience is an important part of many of our projects, increasing participants stage craft and confidence
    » Our professional and creative approach means participants can experience new art forms and look at theatre in a different way
    » We involve & empower our participants. They are integral to shaping content, themes, context, choreography, music, dialogue & technical production
    » Because we run two theatres, our students have the privilege to work with many vibrant artistic companies

    We will offer public performance opportunities whenever this is appropriate to our participants, with at least one large scale performance each term

  • Impact


    Many of our young students go on to pursue a career in the arts; all will undoubtedly use the discipline, team-working & creative skills they gain in their future careers in any sector. We support a number of participants with social, learning or physical disabilities, giving a truly equal opportunity for all. Feedback from past alumni demonstrates our programme has changed lives and we will collate this data, information about leavers’ destinations & testimonials to illustrate our success.


    This work is at risk from reduced funding, however we are mitigating this risk by increasing our fundraising activities to include a wider range of funding sources. Other risks include participants dropping out of a project once it has started or artists/teachers failing to deliver the full project. Our experience and contacts mean we are well placed to engage and maintain participants’ attendance, fill any spaces in projects efficiently and ensure suitable creative staff are available.


    We evaluate every part of the programme, from the ongoing sessions to each production. We also store statistical data about our participants. Reports will be communicated in the form of a donors’ update three times per year. We also welcome visits in person to see our work.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £159,706

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      Amount Heading Description
      £32,198 Holiday projects Day, half week and week long projects
      £16,968 Residencies Professional Artist led residency projects, External events, workshops and training
      £23,050 Music Projects Youth & Adult Choirs, Band and other music projects
      £32,400 Make The Move Regular skills & technique classes
      £55,090 Staffing, venue, overheads Staffing, venue, admin, travel, marketing and technical

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    North Devon Theatres' Trust in Kind £46,576 Guaranteed
    Arts Council England - NPO £20,000 Guaranteed
    Earned Income £32,850 Conditional
    Ticket Sales £3,750 Conditional
    Participant Fundraising £2,000 Conditional
    Fisheries Local Action Group £1,000 Guaranteed
    Ilfracombe Round Table £300 Guaranteed
    Devon Music Education Hub £8,732 Guaranteed
    Anonymous Donor £1,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    North Devon is a rural area recognised as one of the most deprived in the UK; earnings are typically 20% below the national average and Department of Health Statistics show that North Devon has a significantly higher incidence of low educational achievement, obesity, diabetes and mental illness than the rest of England. Our provision is primarily based at the Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe, which ranks among most the most deprived 5% of areas nationally (Indices of Deprivation 2010).


    Our programme will offer over 20,000 places, of which we would expect approximately 250 to be under 5 years, 8000 5 to 11 years, 6000 12 to16 years, 800 17 to 19 years, 1800 of mixed ages (intergenerational projects) and 3150 adults over 20 years. Participants typically come from all over the North Devon region, but particularly Ilfracombe, Braunton, Barnstaple, Woolacoombe, Combe Martin and surrounding villages.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Formed in 1993, we are the most strategically important arts organisation in North Devon. We have developed this programme over the past ten years and our experience in this field cannot be replicated locally. Our two theatres provide a hub for the local community and foremost arts provision for 40 miles. The nurturing of educational opportunity is at the heart of our work and we are determined to preserve this important area of our work for the benefit of local communities.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Carol Turner

    The programme is managed by our experienced and dynamic Education Officer, Carol Turner, who has over twenty years experience of arts education.

It's also about having FUN!

It's also about having FUN!


Sponsors a child to attend for a whole term

“Thank you for giving me a chance when no-one else would, I’ve loved it all so much. Thank you.”

Anonymous Participant