Polka to receive £1.2 million from Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund

December 14, 2018

Polka has taken a significant leap towards achieving its plans for redevelopment in 2019, with the award of investment from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund.

 

The £1.2m award towards the theatre’s FUTURE POLKA programme is a clear endorsement of Polka’s importance as a cultural hub for the local Merton community and a resource for children and families from across south London and beyond.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2019, Polka is the UK’s leading theatre for children up to the age of 12. The redevelopment will be the first since the charity first opened its doors back in 1979 and will ensure Polka remains at the forefront of children’s theatre for future generations, providing innovative, challenging and thought-provoking work for an increasingly culturally diverse young audience. The development includes a new Adventure Theatre specially designed for young children up to age 5, a new rehearsal and development studio, and a creative learning studio designed with particular reference to children with sensory needs, as well as improved access facilities.

Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Community and Culture, Councillor Nick Draper, said: “I am delighted to hear that Polka Theatre has received this investment award, which will go a long way to bring their FUTURE POLKA plans to life. This gives a much needed boost to a vibrant arm of our community which promotes diversity and champions accessibility for artists and audiences in London.”

Commenting on the award, Peter Glanville, Artistic Director & Joint CEO of Polka said “We could not be more delighted. This award is a clear demonstration of the Mayor of London and the GLA’s commitment to supporting culture and community-led regeneration in Merton and a ringing endorsement of the value of Polka’s work with children and families. Theatre and access to the arts nourishes and inspires children’s creative development. This investment celebrates the world class cultural provision Polka creates and shares with children and families in our local community.”

Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, Jules Pipe, said: “This is a great example of a project which aims to give Londoners of all backgrounds the opportunity to be actively involved in shaping how their city develops. The Mayor and I are committed to supporting ‘good growth’ by building a city where all Londoners have access to the same opportunities and I look forward to seeing the positive impact this project has in the future.”

This funding award means Polka has less than £800K to raise to reach their total fundraising target. Other key project supporters include Arts Council England, London Borough of Merton, major trusts and foundations, and individual supporters.

For further information on Polka and FUTURE POLKA: polkatheatre.com/futurepolka


Notes to Editors:

Polka is one of the few theatres in the UK dedicated exclusively to children. Based in Wimbledon since 1979, Polka creates world-class theatre to entertain and inspire young audiences. Over 90,000 children visit Polka every year to experience engaging, fun and exciting theatre, often for the first time. We strive to spark the imagination, stir the emotions and fuel a sense of discovery in all children. Learning and participation is at the heart of Polka’s work, encouraging children to explore and develop creatively. We offer opportunities for all children, regardless of age, ability, culture or background, working in close partnership with schools, libraries, children’s centres, community associations and a range of other community organisations.

Polka is first and foremost a local theatre, loved by the people of Merton, South London and the wider community, but enjoys an international reputation, known throughout the world as a pioneer of theatre for children, consistently setting the standard and raising audience’s expectations.