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Project information

A Chance to Shine - Royal & Derngate Youth Theatre

The Youth Theatre teaches young people to create theatre through weekly training sessions and regular productions. It enables them to develop social and communication skills and gain confidence. We want to attract more young people from diverse backgrounds and offer more financial bursaries.

12 months

Charity information: Northampton Theatres Trust

Northampton Theatres Trust logo
  • Need


    The Youth Theatre has 185 members aged from 5 to 21 years old. We are keen to attract young members from diverse groups to ensure we are representative of the Northampton population, including young people who speak English as their second language. We would like to be able to offer more bursaries so that financial hardship is not a barrier to being a member of the Youth Theatre.


    Working with schools, youth clubs and community groups, we will lead 6-week workshops in two community settings in Northampton. These workshops will aim to attract those young people who have an interest or talent in theatre, but who would not usually consider the Youth Theatre or who could not afford the membership fee. In particular we will work with supplementary schools and pupils who speak English as their second language; offering performing arts as a way to improve their language skills.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To recruit 10 young people from new communities in the Northampton area


    » Working with local schools and community groups, we will identify appropriate locations for 6-week satellite workshops.

    What success will look like

    Success will be organising 6-week workshops in two community locations, evaluating the outcomes and recording how many new young people become engaged with the Youth Theater.

    Aim 2

    To offer 48 annual membership bursaries for the Youth Theatre


    » Identify young people for whom financial hardship means the termly fee is a barrier to them being members of the youth theatre.

    What success will look like

    Success will be awarding bursaries to 48 young people who would otherwise been unable to be members of the Youth Theatre.

  • Impact


    The project will provide an inspiring and creative opportunity for young people to become more engaged with the theatre and the arts. It will improve their confidence, social and communication skills. If we are able to attract more young people from diverse backgrounds, then the Youth Theatre will become more culturally enriched and representative of the local population. We can demonstrate success by recording the ethnicity of the Youth Theatre participants and the demand for the bursaries.


    There is a risk that we cannot deliver successful workshops or engage fully with diverse communities. We have dealt with this by developing good relations with many local supplementary schools, youth clubs and community groups and will seek consultation from the Community Foundation, Northamptonshire County Council and the Council for Ethnic Minority Groups. We also feel it is important for the workshops to be spread out over a 6- week period, in order to fully engage with the attendees.


    We will send regular update reports by email to donors and pledgers. We can keep them informed about the workshops and the uptake of bursary places.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £9,500

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £620 Administration For the workshops & bursaries
      £1,440 Workshops Satellite workshops in new communities (2 x 6 week programmes at £120 each workshop)
      £7,440 Bursaries For young people in financial hardship
  • Background


    The population of Northampton is 205,200 with a forecast of 235,800 in 2019. There has been substantial growth in all non-white ethnic groups. Between 2001 and 2007, the Chinese population doubled; the Asian population grew by 72.7% and the Black population grew by 61%. According to the IMD 2007, Northampton is rated as an average town, however the levels of deprivation vary. There were 24 areas of Northampton in the top 20% of all deprived areas in the UK.


    The main beneficiaries of this project will be the young people who are recruited to the Youth Theatre and those who could not afford to pay for the annual membership. The current members will also benefit as they will be interacting and learning from other young people with different backgrounds.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Royal & Derngate is the single largest arts institution in Northamptonshire. Through the creative projects that take place at the theatres, we work with in excess of 300 young people per week. As well as the these regular groups, we have carried out substantial work within the county and have close relationships with a range of community institutions, including the County Council, Northampton Community Foundation, the Youth Offending Service and many local schools.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Dani Parr

    Dani is the Associate Director at the Royal & Derngate.

    Holly McBride

    Holly is Resident Associate Artist at the Royal & Derngate.


will pay for a Youth Theatre bursary for 1 year