The Stables celebrates £140,000 grant

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The Stables, one of the UK’s leading music venues, is celebrating news of a capital lottery development grant award of £140,000 from Arts Council England.

The award is to carry out detailed feasibility work on plans to further develop and improve its facilities in Wavendon, Milton Keynes.

Founded by Sir John Dankworth and Dame Cleo Laine, the venue opened in 1970 and was one of the first to be awarded funds from the National Lottery to develop the new theatre which opened in 2000. It incorporates the 400 seat Jim Marshall Auditorium which has seen the likes of Victoria Wood, Beverly Knight, Craig David, Michael McIntyre, Amy Winehouse, Dave Brubeck and Jamie Cullum take its stage. A further National Lottery award enabled the organisation to open the smaller Stage 2 in 2007, which supports and presents young emerging artists and has featured Gabriella Cilmi, The Secret Sisters and Sarah Millican since it opened.

This award will enable The Stables, which presents over 350 gigs and 250 education projects each year and produces IF: Milton Keynes International Festival, to undertake detailed architectural plans and feasibility studies in a bid to complete the long-awaited courtyard development and improve its operational effectiveness with enhanced backstage facilities. It is one of just 4 awards made across the South East of England and the venue will have 18 months in which to complete the planning process in advance of a Stage 2 capital application.

Chief Executive of The Stables, Monica Ferguson said “We are really pleased that Arts Council England has recognised the significant achievements of The Stables and its unique place in the UK’s music scene. This award will help us to make sure our development plans are sustainable and appropriate for the venue and for Milton Keynes.”

Sally Abbott, Arts Council England, said “Today we have announced that four organisations in the South East now have allocations in our new capital programme. The South East has a reputation for nurturing and producing locally important and world renowned art and culture, and participation in this programme will mean these organisations will have the best facilities available to help them continue to do this.”