Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres, Robert Hastie, today announces a new creative hub dedicated to talent development. The Bank, as it will be known, will become home to a wealth of new talent as Sheffield Theatres expands its commitment to local theatre makers as well as the company’s existing Making Room network of artists and activities.

The Bank, which is located adjacent to the Crucible, will be a creative space for local artists and theatre makers to develop work, skills, collaborations and careers with the support of the staff and creative teams at Sheffield Theatres.

The Making Room, a network of local artists developed in collaboration with Theatre Deli, The Bare Project and Third Angel, will continue to flourish, with an expanded range of workshops and talks taking place in The Bank. The Bank will also become home to a 12-strong cohort of writers, directors and producers who will be selected through an application process over the next four weeks.  Each will be supported and mentored over 9 months in a programme that will culminate in industry showcases, seed funding for projects and opportunities to work on Sheffield Theatres’ productions.

Robert Hastie, Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres said:

“Our city is full of creative talent who need space and support to think, imagine and create. We’re committed to sharing the resources and expertise we have in our theatres and to creating an environment where artists can thrive.

At Sheffield Theatres we’re really keen to work with the city’s community of artists – and the artists in all Sheffield’s communities – to determine how we can best use this space. We’re starting with an offer, but we want to go forward in conversation and collaboration.

There is a long line of artists who have shaped and shared their talents in Sheffield. The city is bursting with creative energy. As we open recruitment for the first Bank of directors, producers and writers, I can’t wait to see what the next generation of Sheffield-made talent will achieve.”

The Bank, named in recognition of its previous incarnation as an actual bank as well as its future life as a place in which investment is made in talent, has been made possible thanks to a gift from long-standing supporters, Jo and Chris Hookway.

Donor, Jo Hookway commented:

“Chris and I are so pleased that we’ve played a part in enabling Sheffield Theatres to realise their ambitious plans with the opening of The Bank.

The theatre has brought us a huge amount of joy, and we wanted to give back by helping to nurture the next generation of talent in our city. We loved the idea of The Bank immediately, and we trusted that Sheffield Theatres has the expertise to deliver something brilliant. For us, this is a living legacy; a way for us to see the impact that our gift will make on the theatres and the theatre makers of the future.”

Over the last three years Sheffield Theatres has significantly expanded its artist development programme. Its artist network, Making Room, now has over 1000 members; the Theatres make office space (the Writers Room) and rehearsal rooms available to local artists, and twice each year the Studio Takeover festival gives local artists and companies a platform to share and develop work in front of an audience. The assistant director opportunities across the in-house programme are highly sought after and the current writers’ group enjoys the support of playwright Chris Bush and the new work coordinator, who each offer advice and dramaturgical support. Currently, the company is limited in the work it can do with emerging artists and makers due to the availability of space across the existing buildings. The company rehearses and stages twelve in-house shows and welcomes over 75 touring companies to the stage every year, alongside an extensive and thriving learning and participation programme. The Bank prioritises talent development by providing a dedicated hub for artists and theatre-makers to call home right in the heart of the city.

Applications for the Bank of writers, producers and directors are now open and further details can be found by visiting Refurbishment work is currently underway in The Bank with the opening scheduled for late November.