Charitable Activities

Theatre Development Trust (TDT)

The Theatre Development Trust offers grants to support its aims of championing a wide variety of initiatives that strengthen the future of the theatre industry, thereby promoting and advancing the dramatic and other performing arts, for the benefit of the public.


Thank you for your interest in a Theatre Development Trust grant. Please read the following information carefully and if you have any questions contact or call 0207 557 6700.

In 2024, there is one remaining opportunity to submit an application for funding and we will publish these (Autumn) dates in August.

Core Goals

  • Audience Development – including encouraging younger theatre goers and increasing diversity and access for new theatre goers across all sectors of society.
  • Workforce Training and Career Development – including addressing skills shortages, entry routes, in career training and inclusivity.
  • Access Requirements – exploring sustainable models for all aspects of Access performances.

Your activity needs to advance at least one of the 3 core goals to be eligible for funding.

How to apply

  1. Contact TDT for an initial conversation about your work and how it fits the fund’s objectives
  2. Complete a short Expression of interest using this form.
    (Initial conversations and Expression of Interests can happen throughout the year.)
  3. Submit a more detailed Application Form by 3 October 2024.

All decisions are final, and the TDT team will be happy to arrange feedback to any interested applicant.

To contact TDT, email or phone 0207 557 6700 – please mark your email or ask to speak to Katie Kerry.  

Notes on the expression of interest form

This short form is a standard set of questions designed to be easy to add basic details of your organisation and the work you’re applying to fund.

It can be submitted at any time during the year and will be assessed by the TDT team.

If they consider that your work aligns with TDT’s core goals, you’ll be invited to and sent the full application form/s to apply.

Notes on the application form

This is a slightly longer form, designed to enable you to share what you think is important about your organisation and project, in ways that most suit you and the work. There are options throughout to submit your answers in text, video, audio and to add images or attachments that might help you best demonstrate the value of your work.

The indicated format options are to help make the application process more accessible and welcoming to all, not suggestions that you should include all media options.

If at any point when completing the form you have questions, please contact the team at TDT to ask.

If you are successful

You will receive an email to offer you the funding and outline the process to accept the funds.

80% of the project fund will be distributed in advance of the start of the project, 20% will be available on satisfactory submission of all feedback, evaluation and reporting after the end of the project

As a recipient of TDT funds you must acknowledge the support on related publicity and share examples with TDT as part of your feedback reporting.

Reporting dates will be mid-way and at the end of the project – applicants will set those dates into their full application form.

If you are not successful

You will receive an email by the end of December from the panel.

The Trustees of TDT are: Kash Bennett, Tom Bird, Andrew Collier, Alan Finch, Henny Finch, Rupert Gavin, Patrick Gracey, Nia Janis, Eleanor Lloyd, Patrick Murphy, Mark Rubinstein, Tali Pelman, Rebecca Quigley, Edward Snape, Rosemary Squire, Anna Williams, Griselda Yorke.

Below is a list of some of the organisations and projects to receive grants via the Theatre Development Trust. 

Stage One – Theatre Investment Fund Ltd

Stage One is a registered charity that supports new commercial UK theatre producers and productions. It’s committed to securing the future of commercial theatre through educational and investment schemes.

If you’re an aspiring theatre producer, Stage One can help get you on the first rung of your career ladder by turning your entrepreneurial ideas and ambitions into reality. 

For further information, please visit the Stage One website or email

Theatre Artists Fund

Between July 2020 and March 2022, Theatre Artists Fund realised emergency funds for theatre freelancers across the UK in need of critical financial aid, due to the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the theatre sector. £9.9 million, including £1.9m from Department for Culture, Media and Sport through Arts Council England, was raised to distribute 9,964 emergency grants, towards living costs such as rent, food, and electricity, alongside signposting to mental-health support. We remain tremendously grateful to everyone who donated their time, creativity, and money for this major and necessary campaign. Thank you. For more information on Theatre Artists Fund current focus, please click here.

Lawrence Olivier Bursary

We established the Laurence Olivier Bursary in 1987 to commemorate the 80th Birthday of the great British actor Laurence Olivier.

Olivier was passionate about helping young actors with the potential to make a major contribution to British theatre, and the Laurence Olivier Bursary seeks to do this by assisting talented drama students facing financial difficulties during their studies. The demands of their final year makes part-time jobs almost impossible, which is why the bursary can make such a huge difference.

Each year principals from drama schools across the UK submit nominations for the bursary scheme. Nominees should be approaching their final year and fulfil the dual criteria of financial need and potential talent. About 40 students are entered each June and appear before a panel of theatre industry professionals – usually producers and casting directors – where they give a 10-minute audition and an interview.        

For further information, please contact

Go Live Theatre Projects

Go Live Theatre Projects is a theatre education charity dedicated to bringing the magic of theatre into the lives of young people. For more information visit the website.

SOLT & UK Theatre – Industry Training & Events

The programme of training courses, conferences and events offered by SOLT & UK Theatre supports the professional development of individuals working in the theatre industry by providing valuable learning, best practice and networking opportunities. Click here for more information.