Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation receives grant from Government Culture Recovery Fund

Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation receives grant from Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund

Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation has been awarded a significant grant as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary has announced.

Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment has been announced as part of the very first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

Each year, Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation works with hundreds of schools across the UK, supporting them to perform abridged versions of Shakespeare plays in professional theatres as part of the Festival. As well as working with thousands of children of every background, the charity’s programme of work brings non-traditional theatre audiences into over 100 regional theatres annually. In 2019, 42% of Festival audience members said they hadn’t been to that theatre before and 96% of those first-time visitors said they would like to return.

Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation also has a significant impact on its young participants. After the 2019 Festival:

  • 96% of teachers said their students are more ambitious
  • 91% of students said they feel more confident
  • 86% of students said they feel more able to express themselves
  • 86% of teachers said their students’ academic attainment had improved

With theatres closed, Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation’s 20th Festival will take place in school halls, transformed to bring the professional theatre experience into school. Performances will be livestreamed for friends and families to watch, bringing communities together at the end of this most challenging year.

This new funding will ensure that the unique 2020 Festival, entitled One Night of Shakespeare, can go ahead and will enable the charity to adapt its programmes into 2021 so that more children can gain the crucial life skills they need.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

“This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation. It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery.

“These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country. This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly.”

Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said:

“Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”

Ruth Brock, Managing Director of Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation, said:

"Over the past few months, children have lost out on crucial learning opportunities and vital chances to expand their horizons and cultural capital. Working in a team, making friends, building resilience, self-esteem and confidence - young people gain all this and so much more through performing, through understanding Shakespeare's words, through putting on a play. As a result of this funding, Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation has the opportunity to continue to adapt and innovate, so that we can build on our track record and give more children, from every background and every corner of the country, the opportunity to recover and rebuild and the crucial life skills they need to succeed. We are thrilled and grateful to have received this grant."


Notes to editors:

Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high quality cultural experiences. We invest public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision.

Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council developed a £160 million Emergency Response Package, with nearly 90% coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support. We are also one of several bodies administering the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund and unprecedented support package of £1.57 billion for the culture and heritage sector. Find out more at


Ruth Brock, Managing Director, Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation, 07403 641432

More than
young people have taken part in the Festival

Our flagship project is the Festival - the world’s largest youth drama festival.

About our impact


Every pound helps to give a young person crucial life skills, confidence, self-esteem and collaboration which last long after the curtain falls.

Coram SSF is a cultural education charity that exists to instil curiosity and empathy, aspiration and self-esteem, literacy and teamwork - giving young people the confidence to see that all the world is their stage.

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