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Arts Council England funding announcement

posted on 27 June 2017
Arts Council England funding announcement


Winchester’s Hat Fair to receive investment from Arts Council England for the next 4 years

Today, Arts Council England revealed its National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) grant funding plans for 2018 – 2022.

The Live Theatre Winchester Trust is thrilled to announce that it will remain a National Portfolio Organisation, enabling it to continue to present the country’s longest-running Outdoor Arts Festival, Hat Fair, and receive a total £536,632 in revenue funding over these four financial years.

This significant investment will enable Hat Fair to continue as a major annual Outdoor Arts Festival throughout Winchester city centre for the next four years.

Andrew Loretto, Hat Fair and Engagement Director, Live Theatre Winchester Trust, comments:
“This is fantastic news for Winchester and Hampshire to receive from Arts Council England on the eve of Hat Fair’s 43rd annual summer festival of Outdoor Arts. It is wonderful to be able to plan ahead with confidence for a four year cycle of annual Hat Fair festivals in Winchester city centre and associated year-round engagement for Theatre Royal Winchester. We look forward to developing our programme of outdoor and site-responsive work providing high quality arts experiences for inter-generational participants. We also look forward to developing the identity of Hat Fair as a home for outdoor performance from across the UK and around the world. We wish to welcome as many people as possible to our beautiful city of Winchester so they can discover its streets, nooks and crannies in surprising ways through live performance.”

Deryck Newland, Chief Executive of Live Theatre Winchester Trust, continues:
“The whole organisation is delighted that Arts Council England recognises the power of Outdoor Arts in general, and Hat Fair in particular, to engage wide audiences and create extraordinary experiences for the public. We look forward to working in partnership with ACE and our other investors to continue developing the quality and reach of our work over the next four years and beyond.”

Hat Fair is part of the Without Walls consortium of commissioning festivals. Today’s announcement for the success of Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation funding is a fantastic endorsement of the value placed on outdoor arts across the UK and internationally.

Josephine Burns, Chair of Without Walls said:
“We are delighted to be awarded NPO funding. It recognises the artistic achievements of the past 10 years and how Outdoor Arts has flourished, bringing delight and challenge to audiences across the UK and beyond. Now we can plan with artists, companies and partners – existing and new – to deepen our impact and make ambitious new work. 
The decision to fund a consortium where the leadership is distributed across a wide range of partners allows us to go on a bold adventure together, to create work of the highest calibre with exceptional established artists and those new to presenting outdoor arts.”

Hat Fair is the UK’s longest running Outdoor Arts festival and attracts over 60,000 visitors to Winchester every year. It is organised by the Live Theatre Winchester Trust that also incorporates the Theatre Royal Winchester.

This year’s Hat Fair festival takes place from Friday 30 June to Sunday 2 July 2017 throughout Winchester city centre, Hampshire.

Highlights not to be missed include Teatr Biuro Podrozy’s Silence – a fusion of physical theatre, fire, puppetry and music telling the story of refugees, Wired Aerial Theatre’s To Me, To You… featuring a couple dancing, bouncing and shouting in the air about the stresses and strains of life and Unlimited Theatre revealing How I Hacked My Way Into Space.

For more information about Hat Fair 2017, visit

Winchester Images Sound II Man on a Horse Buttercross Hat Fair Alfred the Great Hat Fair

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Live Theatre Winchester Trust Ltd is registered in England. Company Number 03696681,
Jewry Street, Winchester SO23 8SB. Registered Charity number 1077139.