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Last Updated: Friday, 1 February 2008, 12:12 GMT
Theatre awarded 2m refit grant
Bristol Old Vic
The theatre was temporarily closed last August for a refit
The Bristol Old Vic has won 2m from the Arts Council towards its ongoing refurbishment costs.

The money is conditional on the council approving its refurbishment plans.

In a separate process, the theatre won 578,000 towards its development, part of 11m given to arts organisations across Bristol over three years.

The theatre, which temporarily closed last summer for the refit, has been struggling financially, with upgrade costs rising from 7m to 9m.

A fund-raising campaign was launched to make up the shortfall, which will now be led by Dick Penny who agreed on Friday to take over as chairman of the theatre.

Arnolfini: 3m
Watershed: 1m
Kompany Malakhi: 500,000
Spike Island: 450,000
Circomedia: 334,000
St Pauls Carnival: 140,000

Nick Capaldi, the council's south west executive director, said: "Bristol Old Vic has responded to our initial concerns with an energetic and practical explanation of how it intends to regain its former pre-eminence as one the country's most important producing companies.

"We have also been impressed by the overwhelming support given to Dick Penny by theatre practitioners, funding stakeholders and members of the public."

Councillor Rosalie Walker, added: "This is excellent news and I'm delighted with the Arts Council's funding decision.

"This is the first step in getting the Old Vic back on track. This is very much a people's theatre and everyone involved, including myself, is passionate about its future and its massive contribution to the cultural life of the city."

Kuumba Project

But Mr Capaldi confirmed that funding would not be renewed for the Kuumba Project, a Bristol-based black artists' project.

Last year it received more than 100,000.

Kuumba's managing director Ron Morrison said he was devastated by the news and added that the centre now faced a real threat to its future.

Mr Capaldi said: "Kuumba has struggled to map out for itself a confident, exciting and viable artistic future."

Arts funding across the West of England

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