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Toynbee Studios: Access All Areas

The Dinner Party Revisited, Katherine Araniello (Unlimited Festival, South Bank Centre). Photo by Rachel Cherry.

We’ve just found out that the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, have awarded Artsadmin £95,500 towards accessibility improvements at Toynbee Studios. 

With rehearsal space in ever increasing demand across London, a lack of affordable and accessible space can be a major obstacle for disabled artists working in the city. We hope that this grant will help Artsadmin to improve and develop rehearsal spaces which are accessible, safe and welcoming for people who identify as disabled. Gill Lloyd, Co-director of Artsadmin, says:

“This investment from City Bridge Trust will enable disabled artists, customers and audiences to use Toynbee Studios independently. Over the next two years Artsadmin will be making improvements to all of the meeting, performance and rehearsal spaces. These works will ensure that Toynbee Studios can offer affordable, accessible and appropriate space for artistic development and performance, community and charitable initiatives. We are very grateful to City Bridge Trust for their support.”

Unlimited – a commissions programme which Artsadmin delivers with our partners at Shape Arts – embeds the work by disabled artists within the UK cultural sector, engaging new audiences and challenging perceptions of disabled people. As of 2016, Unlimited has awarded £932,000 to 103 talented disabled artists. During its three years 1,797 performances, exhibitions, screenings and events have been seen by 132,059 people across the UK. This grant will be able to further consolidate Artsadmin’s commitment to ensuring that the those who identify as disabled are able to both access and develop ambitious and high quality artistic work.

City Bridge Trust is London’s biggest independent grant giver, helping to achieve the Corporation’s aim of changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners. About this grant to Artsadmin, David Farnsworth, Director of City Bridge Trust, says:

 “We are committed to supporting Londoners to make the city a fairer place to work and live. Over the past 20 years, we have awarded around 2,000 grants totalling over £88 million to 1,400 different organisations supporting people with disabilities. Since 2013, Unlimited, the programme that Artsadmin has co-delivered with Shape Arts, has helped over 100 disabled artists and companies take part in the arts. This new grant to make their studios more accessible will benefit these artists, and provide opportunities to many others, enhancing their lives.”