NEW workshops, exciting outreach projects, additional digital resources and a Youth Festival Day are just some of the schemes being planned by staff and volunteers at Taunton’s Brewhouse Theatre after securing a £97,000 grant from the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund.

The theatre has been closed since January 6 and is unlikely to fully re-open until the end of June at the earliest, although some socially distanced events will take place from May 18.

The grant will help the theatre extend its current offerings, diversify and start to recover some of the lost income caused by lockdowns.

Brewhouse chief executive Amy Bere said: “As a regional arts hub, we want to focus on swiftly and comprehensively rebuilding and expanding our arts programme and this grant will help us to deliver several new and ambitious creative projects.

"It will also help us to ensure the highest level of customer care is afforded to our patrons, including barcode scanners to speed up check-in and reduce waste and contact, plus the installation of a box office hearing loop to improve access for deaf and hard of hearing patrons and improved PPE, including screening and masks.”

The theatre’s plans in the coming months include working with leading artists at the top of their profession to encourage people back to the theatre, as well as exciting exhibitions and partnership work with other arts groups to provide quality workspaces in the county, both inside and outdoors.

The grant will also enable the Brewhouse to expand its current range of successful Take Part Online classes and workshops and to stage a Youth Festival Day.

There are also plans to develop the successful HomeBrew Digital Programme by launching a menu of professional development services and resources for regional artists.

Ms Bere added: “We will also be looking to expand our capacity in the digital space and this grant will enable us to forge new partnerships and to share our work with audiences further afield and with those who do not yet feel comfortable in shared public spaces.”

The Cultural Recovery Fund is overseen by the Arts Council and is designed to help arts, culture and heritage sites and venues get back on their feet after being forced to close their doors to audiences as a result of the pandemic.