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Boost to Birmingham Rep's talent training

Famous city theatre receives two grants which will support its work nurturing the next generation of artists for three more years

Artists from the 2014 REP Foundry programme

A training programme aimed at creating the next generation of theatre directors and writers has been boosted by a pair of grants totalling £332,000.

The money will enable Birmingham Repertory Theatre to continue running its REP Foundry course for a further three years after securing the cash from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Leverhulme Trust.

Created in 2013 by artistic director Roxana Silbert, REP Foundry aims to discover and promote the West Midlands' most promising talent.

Writers, directors and theatre makers receive mentoring and professional support at the Rep in Centenary Square using the skills and knowledge of its team alongside specialist industry partners.

They are also given the space to develop, share and create work for a variety of audiences.

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Ms Silbert said: "Now, more than ever, theatre must continue to encourage ideas, talent and creativity and we're passionate about making that happen in the heart of the UK.

"We're thrilled with the success of REP Foundry and, thanks to the generous support of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the Leverhulme Trust, we are able to further our capacity to discover, develop and help promote more new theatre talent."

More than 50 West Midlands-based artists have benefited from REP Foundry to date with notable successes including premieres of seven newly commissioned plays and employment at other regional theatres.

Two former trainees have become associate artists at the Rep and other artists have since been able to tour their work.

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