RSC awarded £1m in ‘Catalyst’ programme

20 June 2012

Jeremy Hunt announced today that the RSC has been awarded £1m from the new Catalyst Endowment Fund, the private giving investment programme, a joint initiative between the Departure for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), aimed at helping cultural organisations become more resilient.

The funding will help the RSC to encourage more funding from private sources. The Company will now work together with RSC America, to match that sum from private gifts over the next three years. The combined sum will be added to the RSC's modest existing endowment fund to support and expand our artistic work in the UK and internationally.

Vikki Heywood, Executive Director, RSC said: 'We are absolutely delighted to hear this news. Public subsidy plays a key role in the arts, allowing us to develop new work and to broaden our reach to new audiences through education programmes and cheaper tickets. This new fund adds a further benefit by providing valuable leverage to our long-term fundraising ambitions. The additional incentive of match funding will, we hope, encourage new and existing supporters in the UK and US to invest for the long term in our work.

'Added to the recent decision to remove the tax relief caps on gifts to charities like the RSC proposed in the last budget, this provides a welcome note at a time of real challenge for arts funding, though, of course, it will take time to build up endowments in the UK on the scale of those seen in the US.

'We want to continue with a mixed economy of public, private and commercial income, because we know it brings the greatest benefits for our work and our audiences. Our multi-award winning production of Matilda The Musical was only possible because we were able to develop it over a seven year period, with public subsidy and the generosity of several private donors. That ability to make long-term commitments will certainly be helped by programmes like Catalyst.

Ros Robins, West Midlands Director, ACE, said: 'We are delighted to have been able to make three awards in the West Midlands under our Catalyst Endowments scheme.

'Public funding of the arts in this country is at the heart of their success. It enables organisations to attract private investors, and gives them the confidence to continue to take the bold artistic leaps that keep audiences coming.

'Catalyst Endowments and Catalyst Arts will help support that public investment, increasing the sustainability of our world class arts organisations that bring delight to millions and play such an important part in our national economy.'


For further information, contact:

Liz Thompson
Director of Communications
01789 412667

Nada Zakula
Senior Press Officer
01789 412622

Notes to editors:

RSC America
Royal Shakespeare Company America is an independent charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Its mission is to support the work of the Royal Shakespeare Company in the United States, the United Kingdom, and throughout the world. Visit us on the Web at

Catalyst endowment fund
Catalyst is the new £100 million culture sector wide private giving investment programme aimed at helping cultural organisations diversify their income streams and access more funding from private sources. The new programme is made up of investment from Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). For full information on all the Catalyst programmes visit

Catalyst offers organisations the opportunity to move their fundraising and development expertise on to the next level, whatever their current starting point. Through all strands of the Catalyst initiative, we aim to attract creative and innovative applications that will test a range of fundraising approaches, from bottom-up audience development and other fundraising techniques, to the development, for those who are ready, of an endowment fund.

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