Charity supporting disabled artists and audiences gets huge cash boost from City Bridge Trust

The City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, has awarded a grant of £95,500 to Artsadmin, a charity that enables artists to create without boundaries and to connect their work with diverse local, national and international audiences.

A lack of fully accessible performance and rehearsal spaces is a major obstacle to disabled people taking part in performing arts activities. This grant will pay for building works to enhance the accessibility of Toynbee Studios, in East London, to ensure all visitors are able to use the facilities independently, in the way they want to. It will create spaces that are accessible, safe and welcoming for people with both visible and non-visible disabilities.

A significant part of Artsadmin’s work is its Unlimited commissions programme which places work by disabled artists within the UK cultural sector, reaching new audiences and changing perceptions of disabled people. By 2016, Unlimited had awarded £932,000 to 103 talented disabled artists. During those three years 1,797 performances, exhibitions, screenings and events were seen by 132,059 people around the UK.

David Farnsworth, Director of City Bridge Trust, said:

 “We are committed to supporting Londoners to make the city a fairer place to work and live. Over the past 20 years, we have awarded around 2,000 grants totalling over £88 million to 1,400 different organisations supporting people with disabilities. Since 2013, Unlimited, the programme that Artsadmin has co-delivered with Shape Arts, has helped over 100 disabled artists and companies take part in the arts. This new grant to make their studios more accessible will benefit these artists, and provide opportunities to many others, enhancing their lives.”

Gill Lloyd, Co-director of Artsadmin, added:

 “This investment from City Bridge Trust will enable disabled artists, customers and audiences to use Toynbee Studios independently. Over the next two years Artsadmin will be making improvements to all of the meeting, performance and rehearsal spaces. These works will ensure that Toynbee Studios can offer affordable, accessible and appropriate space for artistic development and performance, community and charitable initiatives. We are very grateful to City Bridge Trust for their support.”

City Bridge Trust is London’s biggest independent grant giver, making grants of £20 million a year to tackle disadvantage across the capital.

The charitable funder has given over £8 million to charities supporting people with disabilities including Highbury Roundhouse Youth and Community Centre, Lewisham Disability Coalition, Action on Disability, Disability Rights UK, Flash Musicals and Just Different.

The Trust has awarded around 7,500 grants totalling over £350 million since it first began in 1995.

It helps achieve the Corporation’s aim of changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners.



Media Enquiries

Kristina Drake

Media Officer, City of London Corporation

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