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A landmark £26.4m capital investment from government launches our transformational fundraising campaign Stories Start Here


The UK government today announced in the Spring budget that the National Theatre will receive flagship investment of £26.4m marking its 60th anniversary, which will support urgent infrastructure updates to our building.

This government investment, the largest in our history, will strengthen the organisation and support the UK’s globally renowned theatre-makers by providing essential, urgent upgrades to facilities and boosting specialist skills nationwide through the National Theatre Skills Centre.

Propelled by this investment, today we launch a £125m fundraising campaign Stories Start Here. The campaign, the most ambitious in our history, will raise revenue and capital funds to ensure the National Theatre, which serves 17.5m people a year, is thriving and vital, sparking imagination, nurturing talent and inspiring the world for generations to come.

The National Theatre is a creative powerhouse that attracts the world’s most exciting theatre makers. We are immensely grateful to the government for this landmark investment, marking our 60th birthday, which will support much needed upgrades to our infrastructure and enable artists to produce unforgettable experiences shared with millions of people worldwide every year. Along with the crucial extension of Theatre Tax Relief, this is a huge boost to the future vitality of British theatre. The National Theatre is the biggest factory in central London, and we are so lucky to have such incredibly talented creative experts working alongside and training the next generation to ensure that the whole sector can continue to thrive for many years to come.
Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre and Kate Varah, Executive Director.


The government’s commitment of £26.4m joins £35m of private sector philanthropy raised from NT supporters to kickstart the campaign, demonstrating how private and public funders can work hand in hand to deliver transformative results.

The government investment is targeted at delivering urgent capital upgrades at the National Theatre, which will ensure millions of people will continue to enjoy innovative, ambitious world premiere productions made on the South Bank, which are then shared with the world.

The National Theatre’s learning activity is delivered in every Local Authority in the UK, with 1 in 4 secondary school children watching productions on the NT Collection for free. The upgraded National Theatre facilities will also support a strong pipeline of future creative talent with specialist skills. To date 90% of apprentices trained at the NT have gone on to be employed in the sector.

How will this investment be used?

Nearly 50 years since it first opened in 1976, the National Theatre’s South Bank building requires urgent capital works to ensure it can remain open and operational. The investment will replace failing end-of-life theatre systems, support necessary repairs to the Olivier theatre scenery lift, which is vital to the operation of the theatre, as well as developing innovative solutions for the refurbishment of the Olivier theatre’s unique stage drum revolve system.

The investment also supports the creation of a pioneering National Theatre Skills Centre which will provide engagement, skills development, career support and training opportunities nationwide across a breadth of specialisms for over 5,000 people each year, inspiring future artists, craftspeople and technicians. This funding will allow the National Theatre’s team of in-house creative experts the time and resource to prioritise training rather than undertaking repairs; and offer a world-class environment in which to train the next generation. The NT Skills Centre will supercharge specialist skills needed across the whole sector, with opportunities available nationwide from entry-level to mid-career.

The National Theatre Skills Centre will increase our engagement with young people from across the nation, offering them the opportunity to work with industry-leading experts, at the National Theatre and nationwide through local partnerships. With opportunities available for young people from the age of 11+, this investment from government will allow the NT to further open up the South Bank building, expanding the number of placements across the full range of disciplines across creative, technical and business, and supporting new T Level qualifications in Production Arts as well as doubling the number of apprentices trained at the NT each year.

For 60 years the National Theatre has been at the heart of British culture, putting on productions which showcase the best of our country’s creativity and hold a mirror up to society. This investment of more than £26 million will allow the National Theatre to continue to deliver world-class theatre and cultural education at their iconic London South Bank home, and reach audiences across the whole country, helping to inspire the next generation of actors, writers and theatre production staff.
Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer.

I owe so much of the confidence and the opportunities I have as a writer to the National Theatre. From the joy of opening
Dear England on the Olivier stage last summer to collaborating on a new show from Liverpool’s Royal Court this year, I know how a strong, ambitious and thriving National benefits all theatres, and all artists nationwide. I’m grateful that the government are recognising its incredible contribution to our cultural life, helping the theatre to maintain its global reputation and to train and empower the next generation of theatremakers.
Playwright and screenwriter James Graham.

No one else is doing what the National Theatre is doing – producing large-scale touring work of the highest quality and originality and, crucially, getting that work out to audiences across the country. Without the National Theatre, huge swathes of the country will lose the opportunity to see incredible stories brought to life on their doorstep and regional venues will lose income, profile and audiences.
Julia Fawcett Chief Executive of the Lowry.

With thanks

The Mohn Westlake Foundation supports nationwide learning programmes for young people. Nationwide learning is also supported by The Hearn Foundation, Buffini Chao Foundation and Clore Duffield Foundation. NT Collection is supported by Richard and Kara Gnodde and Delta Air Lines. New York City Public Schools access is supported by the Jerome L. Greene Foundation.

Apprenticeships at the National Theatre are supported by Bank of America. Creative Careers enabled by TikTok.

The National Theatre thanks The Foyle Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Royal National Theatre Foundation, Michael Kors and Lance LePere, and Mark Pigott KBE, KStJ for recent gifts to capital works.