The Yard Theatre

The Yard Theatre

At a glance

Causes

  • Arts
  • Voluntary sector support
  • Young people

Other details

Organisation type: 
Charity
Geographical remit: 
National - Britain

Objectives

We have become a cornerstone of the community in and around Hackney Wick. We are a recognised and respected grassroots venue that has grown with the changing community since 2011. We lobby local authorities and other parties in the local area and our opinion on the changes that are occuring in our neighbourhood is valued.

In 2016 The Yard was asked by the London Legacy Development Corporation to manage neighbouring community centre Hub67, a neutral civic space and home to The Yard Local Programme, a new and developing activity within our organisation. The programme connects with local residents, particularly young people, regardless of background, providing multiple entry points into The Yard and the arts. Through Hub67, The Yard is exploring and shaping what role a theatre can play in its community. Our local programme, developed through consultation and conversation with local residents, includes Yard Young Artists: we work with dynamic artists to give children and young people from 4-19 the opportunity to see theatre, learn about the art of performance and make work for The Yard stage, developing creative skills and realising their artistic potential outside the curriculum.

In April 2019, we opened a second community space, The Hall, in East Village E20. We have been appointed by the East Village Trust to run this brand new community centre until the end of 2021, building on the success of Hub67. Over the next 3 years we will be delivering a major new project across Hub67 and The Hall, working with local residents to develop ideas for participatory community activity.

Activities

The Yard’s success is due to our focus on developing artists and new work, the way we connect with local residents and audiences, and our business model, which sees us maximise earned income. With an initial investment from the Arts Council in 2011 of £9,000, our annual turnover will exceed £1.3 million in 2019/20. Last year, 55% of our income was earned and 45% was contributed through statutory and philanthropic fundraising.

Our investment in new talent and success has led to significant multi-year support from statutory sources including Arts Council England, LB Hackney, LB Tower Hamlets and the London Legacy Development Corporation; trusts and foundations including Foyle Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, Wellcome Trust, Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Big Lottery Fund, John Ellerman Foundation and Patrick & Helena Frost Foundation; individuals including an engaged and growing group of Guardians & Friends as well as successful one-off individual giving campaigns; corporate including local developers and a UK fitness group.

Bordering Tower Hamlets and Hackney, and neighbouring the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, The Yard is at the epicentre of a changing East London. Over the next 10 years, 45,000 new jobs are due to be created with the arrival of major institutions, including the V&A, Sadler’s Wells, BBC, University College London and University of the Arts London. An additional 37,000 new residents will move in, 51% of whom will be under 30.

As part of the changing local landscape, the immediate area around The Yard has been identified by the local authority as an area that would benefit from development. We are currently working with the London Legacy Development Corporation and a supportive developer, on the Section 106 agreement that will secure a new long-term home for The Yard. We anticipate our new £5 million (approx.) building will incorporate our theatre, bar and community centre, and we aim to open the new building in 2022. This is about to be a hugely exciting phase of capital development and business evolution for The Yard. In late 2018 we secured £900,000 of capital funding from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund towards the project.

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