MILLIONS more young people are set to be offered a youngster-friendly introduction to Shakespeare.
It comes after the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust was this week awarded an £880,000 grant to expand its Shakespeare Week activities over the next four years.
The funding will also allow the trust to focus on reaching communities which would not typically have access to, or be interested in, the arts, including the works of the Bard.
It is the first time the trust has been awarded money from Arts Council England, and bosses were understandably delighted.
Trust chief executive Dr Diana Owen, said: “This will enable us to boost investment in our creative programming and outreach activity.
“With this additional funding we will develop our award-winning, free-to-access Shakespeare Week programme that is influencing the teaching and reception of Shakespeare at a vital stage of young people’s development. Over the four years we expect to reach around 8million young people through Shakespeare Week, and transform the offer for targeted groups of young people in areas with low levels of cultural engagement.
“We will also deliver an ambitious programme to inspire new and existing audiences with fresh creative performances and interpretations of our collections, historic properties and learning programmes.
“This will give people the opportunity to enjoy Shakespeare’s works, life and times on his home turf or online, and build Stratford-upon-Avon’s global renown as a cultural centre of excellence.”
Shakespeare Week is a national annual celebration which aims to provide primary school aged children a positive first encounter with Shakespeare.
Next year’s Shakespeare Week runs from March 12 to 18.
Visit www.shakespeare.org.uk to find out more about Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust.