The Arts Council has announced the offer of new, three-year funding for the Abbey Theatre for the period 2009-2011. The innovative, multi-annual funding agreement is designed to allow the Abbey roll out an ambitious theatre programme, including the presentation of new plays by Irish writers each year on both the national and international stage.
The new three year arrangement will see the Abbey receive €9.2m in 2009, €10.0m in 2010 and €11.0m in 2011 totalling €30.2m. The new offer of funding follows the successful three-year investment in the Abbey by the Arts Council, from 2006 to 2008, which enabled the theatre to recover from financial crisis in 2005 and to re-establish its strong reputation with both theatre artists and audiences.
Speaking about the announcement today, Olive Braiden, Chair said, "The Arts Council is very proud of its role in putting the Abbey back on a sound and sustainable financial footing, and we're delighted to be able to announce another three-year funding arrangement for the theatre."
Mary Cloake, Director of the Arts Council said, "By providing this funding we are confident that the Abbey will take significant steps towards fully realising its ambition to grow and develop. This funding means the Abbey will be able to offer more opportunities to writers, actors and other theatre practitioners, while affording the public access to an increased amount of theatre of the highest quality."
The Abbey said it was delighted with the new funding, and promised to reveal a full, exciting programme of events tomorrow.
Judge Bryan McMahon, Chair of the Abbey said, "This is excellent news for the Abbey Theatre and will enable it to continue its work as one of the world’s leading theatres. I want to thank the Arts Council and their Chair, Olive Braiden, for their ongoing commitment in strengthening the future of Ireland’s national theatre."
Commenting on today’s announcement Fiach Mac Conghail, Director of The Abbey said, "The Arts Council’s decision to continue three-year funding for the Abbey Theatre is a major endorsement of both the artistic policy and the management performance that we have worked hard to consolidate since 2006. The last three years involved implementing a major change process within the organisation and preparing the ground for growth. Now, thanks to this crucial support from the Arts Council, Ireland’s national theatre will continue to invest in and produce new Irish plays and new productions of major international work. The Abbey Theatre also takes its responsibility seriously in supporting and working with the Irish theatre community and helping create a strong future for Irish theatre both at home and abroad. "