Mercury Theatre receives vital funding for future as it continues to celebrate its 50th year


Arts Council England award Mercury Theatre £791,682 per year of funding for 2023-2026.

The Mercury’s joint CEOs Tracey Childs and Steve Mannix, along with Creative Director Ryan McBryde, are pleased that the hard work of the Mercury has been recognised by the offer of continued funding from Arts Council England for the period 2023-2026.

The subsidy of £791,682 per year awarded by Arts Council England (ACE) will continue to fund important community engagement projects, talent development for the arts and of course our programme of world class performances and entertainment. The Mercury team are delighted that ACE will continue to invest in the arts in the newly nominated City of Colchester, underpinning our ambitions to be a placemaking organisation for Essex. We recognise that many artists and organisations across England will not have been supported and we will seek to re-double our efforts to engage with artists, freelancers, and industry professionals across the region to ensure our work remains as accessible and inclusive as possible, reaching as many people as we can.

Steve Mannix, Executive Director, said:

“These are challenging times for everyone as we all continue to recover from the pandemic and face the cost of living crisis. We’re extremely pleased to have our plans supported by the Arts Council as a national body. With their support and those of our local authority partners, we look forward to being able to directly invest in the City and the County as more audiences return to see shows, participate in classes & workshops, and engage with us in the community.”

Tracey Childs, Executive Producer said:

“Our long standing commitment to creating high quality work for Colchester has always been our aim. Our renewed funding from the Arts Council will mean that we will not only get to continue creating excellent entertainment and experiences for our audiences, but also continue to work with creative professionals that help make our theatre a vibrant and positive cultural hub for the region.”

We’re committed to being a welcoming centre for people from all over the county that makes us a desirable place to work and visit. During our 50th year we’re pleased to celebrate our newly refurbished eco-friendly building which has been awarded a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ certificate putting us in the top 25% of non-domestic buildings in the UK helping ensure that our funding provides the greatest return on investment it can.

While we’re pleased about our funding from ACE, this only covers part of our core operating costs (17%). We will continue to seek further sources of income from grants, donations, and trading activities such as our new Café Bar.

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