The Montgomery Wins Charity of the Year!

The Montgomery Wins Charity of the Year!

The Montgomery Wins Charity of the Year!

Sheffield’s iconic city centre venue, The Montgomery Theatre & Arts Centre has been announced as the winner of The Charity of The Year 2019 by local business FCS Associates.

The Montgomery has been a Sheffield institution for over 130 years on Surrey Street, but when it changed its entire focus to operating as a Theatre and Arts Centre in 2016, it had no idea of the speed with which its new vision would take hold. Earlier this year General Manager, Dawn Reynolds, spotted a call for local charities to put in a bid to be chosen as the Charity of The Year by local business FCS Associates. Established in 2004 Sheffield based business FCS provide support to other businesses in the complex area of grant and tender writing and each year they select a charity to support with their fundraising skills as well as a cash award. Much to the surprise of The Montgomery team, earlier this week they were announced as this year’s winner!

Mark Feakins, Interim Director of The Montgomery, said “We have been working so hard to build up our reputation as an arts centre and to tell the story of the new life of the place everyone knows locally as ‘The Monty’. So, to be chosen among so many brilliant charities to receive such vital support and help from FCS over the next year has bowled us over”. The award does not just come with a title, but the winner receives £3,000 of support in writing and researching grants and bids for funding and a cash prize of £250. “We are very rare in the theatre world to be pretty much self-sustaining in terms of our income.” Mark says, “We currently receive practically no external funding, we have to earn every penny we spend. However, last year we increased our audiences by nearly 60% to 16,000 people, 5,000 of which were young people and their families. A total of 29 different community groups performed on our stage, which is more than ever! So, to expand our programme and continue to deliver a vibrant theatre and arts space for the Sheffield community we need more support. Working with the expertise of FCS will mean that we can open up all sorts of opportunities for funding that would otherwise not be available to us.”

Rachel Fletcher, MD of FCS Associates explained why The Montgomery were chosen this year, ‘We just loved The Montgomery’s ideas to open up the theatre and it’s art spaces so as many different people from the surrounding communities can access and participate in their programme of events.  We are looking forward to spending the next year working with them to identify funders who can support them in realising their ambitions.  Well done to our runners up, the Fable Charity and Rotherham Abuse Counselling Service who came so close and a huge thank you to all the charities who took the time to apply.’

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