Charity receives cash boost to make more theatres in the heart of London accessible for deaf people

A charity set up to improve access to performing arts for hard of hearing people has received funding to expand their work across theatres in the City of London.

Stagetext has been awarded a grant of £6,800 by the City of London Corporation’s new Central Grants Programme to develop its services to provide access for deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people to theatres in the Square Mile.

The funding will support Stagetext on their journey to making theatre in London more inclusive.

Stagetext is a charity which provides captioning and live subtitling services at theatres and other arts venues to make their activities accessible to people with hearing difficulties.

The charity will use the grant to expand its work in the City and to train more organisations in the use of their captioning and live subtitling services.

The project will provide theatre staff with deaf awareness training and showcase to venues the types of captioning and live subtitling options that can be used at theatrical events and concerts. Stagetext will work with the theatres to develop capacity and improve their offer for deaf people.

Nick Bodger, Head of Cultural and Visitor Development at the City of London Corporation, said:

“It is fantastic that we are able to support such an inspirational charity to expand its work in the City.

“This programme will promote access to help everyone to participate in the City’s cultural offering by training venue staff across the Square Mile in the benefits of captioning and live subtitling.

“It will improve access to these facilities for people with hearing problems and make the City’s venues more inclusive.

“Culture enriches us all, unlocking imagination, creativity and innovation and we want to ensure that this is available to all our workers, residents and visitors.”

Melanie Sharpe, Chief executive at Stagetext, added:

“Stagetext is thrilled that the City of London Corporation has chosen to support our work. With the Corporation’s help we will be able to grow awareness of our services and provide more events within the Square Mile, meaning many more deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people will have access to arts and culture. We are looking forward to getting started on the project with our partners and making real change happen.”

Stagetext is one of eight London organisations to become the first to receive funding from the Central Grants Programme, a new grants scheme supporting community, cultural, environmental, educational and employment projects in the Square Mile and beyond.

This round of grants from the fund, run by the City of London Corporation, focussed on cultural projects with funding totalling £47,332.

The City of London is one of the great cultural hubs of the capital, attracting over 6.3 million people from around the world every year, with a wealth of things to see and do and a vibrant mix of artistic activity. During 2015/2016 there were 3,910 events across the City.

The City Corporation is one of the UK’s major funders of culture and heritage and directly supports a range of institutions and activities in these fields. It invests £80m every year in heritage and cultural activities of all kinds and is the country’s biggest funder of culture after the Government, the BBC and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Through the Central Grants Programme’s “Inspiring London through culture” theme, the City of London Corporation has funded a wide range of organisations, large and small, which enrich the Square Mile’s cultural offer.



Notes to editors:

Full list of grants

Albert & Friends Instant Circus received £1,417 to support Youth Circus performances in the City’s outdoor spaces over one day in July, as part of the International Youth Circus Festival.

City Music Foundation has received a £2,915 grant to support the staging cost and musician fees at the annual City Beerfest in Guildhall Yard.

Commission4Misson has received a £7,500 grant towards the premiere of Mark Dean’s video Stations of the Resurrection and Lizzi Kew-Ross & Co’s Being Here performance at St Paul’s cathedral.

Open Audio Ltd has received a grant of £7,500 to support an immersive open-air, surround-sound composition entitled House of Sound that will be performed across the City during the Open House weekend, in September 2017.

Open City Architecture has received a grant of £7,200 to deliver A City for All, an initiative that will engage five schools in the build- up to the Archikids Festival.

Stagetext has received a grant of £6,800 to provide access for deaf, defended and hard of hearing people in London’s Theatres.

Thames Festival Trust has received a grant for £10,000 to support the Working River programme which will deliver a Poets on Boats project and other work with schools.

Voces Cantabiles Music has received a grant of £4,000 to support a singing workshop and concert with schoolchildren from Hackney and Tower Hamlets.


About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation provides local government and policing services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain, the 'Square Mile'. In addition, the City Corporation has three roles:

We support London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration, education and skills. In addition, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, makes grants of around £20 million annually to tackle disadvantage across London.

We also help look after key London heritage and green spaces including Tower Bridge, the Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important commons in London.

We also support and promote the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events and research-driven policies, all reflecting a long-term approach.

See for more details.


Kristina Drake| Media Officer, Public Services

City of London Corporation

M: 07710860884

D: 020 7332 1125