West Yorkshire Playhouse awarded grant from the Big Lottery Fund


Due to the West Yorkshire Playhouse’s immense contribution of creative opportunities for young people with learning disabilities, it has been awarded a generous grant of £375,731 from the Big Lottery Fund.

Providing stability for a total of four years, the grant will support the admirable Buzz programme, specifically an arts programme, giving young disabled people aged 14-25 the essential skills required to flourish in the industry.

Established in 2011, Buzz activities are vital for young disabled people who want to be given the chance to succeed in the arts, as the programme provides individuals with a variety of practical tasks and projects, giving them the precise skills needed to gain qualifications and soar in the arts industry. The programme offers disabled youngsters fantastic opportunities and is essentially tailored to meet the needs of each individual, which is why the grant is so invaluable to the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

The Buzz programme currently holds creative art activities three days a week at First Floor, giving young disabled individuals aiming for a future in the arts the best advice to excel, and also opening up key pathways for them into the industry. Weekend workshop sessions take place every Saturday and present disabled youngsters with a comfortable, friendly atmosphere and key confidence building practicals such as drama, music and visual art activities. Relaxed Performances and Beautiful Octopus Club are just two aspects of the Buzz programme, both offering challenging and inspiring creative workshops for all disabled people; young and older, communities and schools, all fulfilled by West Yorkshire Playhouse’s Creative Engagement team.

West Yorkshire Playhouse Executive Director and Joint Chief Executive Robin Hawkes expressed his appreciation of the grant, stating:

Providing access to, and creating opportunities for people to take part in life-enhancing arts activities is of paramount importance to the Playhouse. This grant from the Big Lottery Fund recognises the impact that Buzz has on young people with learning disabilities and their families and our commitment to this vital work. We’re thrilled that we can further our provision over the next four years and will be looking to develop the range of educational and work experience opportunities we offer through Buzz as well as continuing to provide weekly workshops at our First Floor arts space and with partners across the city.’