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Bradford's Theatre in the Mill secures nearly £0.5m National Portfolio

fundingPublished: Tue 27 Jun 2017

Bradford's Theatre in the Mill secures nearly £0.5m National Portfolio funding


Theatre in the Mill, based at the University of Bradford, has been awarded £480,684 National Portfolio funding from Arts Council England (ACE).

This funding, which runs over four years and represents a threefold increase from ACE, ensures that Theatre in the Mill can develop deeper and longer lasting relationships between regional, national and international artists and the communities that surround the venue. It also allows the building to open longer and broaden the offer to both the university community and the wider region. Ultimately it extends the reach and ambition of a building already punching above its weight.

The announcement comes at a time of new leadership as recently appointed Richard Warburton (pictured) takes over as Artistic Director in August 2017.

Departing Artistic Director, Iain Bloomfield, has been working at the University since 2003 when he was appointed Fellow in Theatre. He then went on to become Artistic Director in 2006 and Head of Arts in May 2008.

Iain has made a huge contribution to the University during his time here, leading the Arts on Campus, ensuring that students, staff and the wider community are exposed to new and meaningful cultural experiences both on and off campus.

Iain will be leaving to deepen and develop his contribution to artist development and to run his own performance company, Two Tonne.

Iain said: “In my time here I have tried to focus on how and why theatre is made and for whom - the stories we tell and who gets to tell them form a significant part of the narrative of this nation. To represent and reflect upon the lived experiences of those who surround us has always been, to my mind, the purpose of theatre. That we have been able to do so working alongside ground breaking artists and that their work has been seen by hundreds of thousands of people over the years has been a joyful experience.”

Replacing Iain will be Richard Warburton. Richard, a co-founder and lead artist with Invisible Flock, is thrilled to be appointed at what is a very exciting time in the theatre’s development.

He said “I can’t wait to welcome people into this bold and visionary building and build on its reputation as a space that nurtures and supports artists to create innovative work that reflects the world we live in.”

Mark Garratt, Director of External Affairs, said: “I look forward to working with Richard as he continues the fantastic legacy that Iain has left behind. His appointment supports and enhances the University strategy and I’m excited to see what the future has in store for the Arts on Campus.”

Theatre in the Mill, which is one of the most important small scale venues in the North of England, offers support and opportunities for innovative artists to make new work, investigate that within a social context and connect it to the wider world.


Theatre in the Mill is delighted to be hosting a range of events as part of Bradford Literature Festival 2016 - check out what you can see at Theatre in the Mill here and the full Bradford Literature Festival Programme here.

About Bradford Literature Festival

Bradford Literature Festival celebrates the written and spoken word and showcases the intimate relationship between words and art forms such as film, theatre and music, set against the city’s distinctive backdrop. With over 200 events featuring world renowned speakers, artists and authors, Bradford is the place to be from the 20th to the 29th of May.

Theatre in the Mill is pleased to announce that Javaad Alipoor has agreed to join the team as Associate Director. 

Iain Bloomfield, Artistic Director of Theatre in the Mill, comments ‘Working with Javaad as Associate Director offers Theatre in the Mill a terrific opportunity to develop our thinking around engagement with both BAMER artists and audiences –in terms of both our cultural and political offer.  We hope that this role will be mutually beneficial, helping Javaad to develop his produced work and giving him the opportunity to engage with programming a venue.  In addition the Associate Director Role will give him experience of supporting a range of visiting artists and will further develop his understanding of strategic development.’

Javaad Alipoor

No Guts, No Heart, No Glory to feature in Live From Television Centre

No Guts, No Heart, No Glory by Common Wealth (origianlly co-commissioned by  Theatre in the Mill and Contact) will feature in Live from Television Centre (15 Nov | 9-11pm | BBC FOUR)

The BBC hands over the airwaves for an evening of unpredictable and entertaining live theatre, produced by Battersea Arts Centre, bringing live performance back to the old BBC TV HQ for the first time since its closure. Kirsty Wark introduces four 30-minute theatre shorts featuring comedy, dance and drama.

read full story

Theatre in the Mill's Artistic Director in Yorkshire's Top 100: The Arts 

Iain Bloomfield, Theatre in the Mill's Artistic Director was listed in Yorkshire's Top 100: The Arts.

The Yorkshire Post state 'Bradford’s Theatre in the Mill might not be Yorkshire’s biggest venue, but thanks to Bloomfield it’s not short on ambition. He moved to Bradford in 1997 where he developed and ran the Alhambra Studio. Appointed Fellow in Theatre at the University of Bradford in 2003, Bloomfield has been Head of Arts for the last seven years and is a great believer in the power of the arts to transform individuals and communities.'

Read the full article

Theatre in the Mill hosts Bryony Kimmings and Tim Grayburn as part of The British Science Festival

The British Science Festival, taking place from Monday 7 September to Thursday 10 September, is one of Europe’s biggest science festivals and brings together over 350 leading scientists in an event that showcases the latest scientific breakthroughs and discoveries from across the globe.

As part of The British Science Festival Theatre in the Mill will host Bryony Kimmings & Tim Grayburn: Fake it ‘til you Make It on Wednesday 9 September.  Six months into their relationship, Bryony found out Tim suffers from severe clinical depression. Fake it ‘til you Make It is a wickedly warming, brutally honest and heart-breaking show about the wonders and pitfalls of the human brain, being in love and what it takes to be a ‘real man’. Find out more and book online here 

The full programme can be seen on the British Science Festival webpage.

The British Science Association (BSA) will bring cutting-edge British science to the fore and celebrate the importance of science in our society.  Across the four days there will be more than 100 free events taking place both on campus and in venues across the city.

The city’s own annual science festival, the British Science Festival Fringe, will follow the national event, from Friday 11 to Friday 18 September, and includes a fantastic school events programme for students aged 8 to 18, making for a very special and high-profile celebration of science with the eyes of the scientific world on Bradford.

British Science Festival

Routes North now open

A partnership between ARC StocktonThe Lowry, Salford and Theatre in the Mill, Bradford.routes north image

Routes North is an initiative to help make theatre happen in the North of England. All three of the partner venues are heavily committed to artist development, and came together in 2012 to offer a package of support to help enable one artist/company to make and tour a new piece of work.

The scheme has previously supported:
• 154 Collective Dancing with the Orange Dog (2012-13)
• Geddes Loom Prelude to a Number (2013-14)
• Soroush My Brothers Country (2014-15)

“Thank you so much for the opportunity Routes North gave us to make Orange Dog. There is no way we would have been able to get the project/idea off the ground without the venues support.” Dan Mallaghan, 154 Collective

“Developing our first show through the Routes North commission was a great experience, one that was essential to the creation of the piece and hugely beneficial to our work as a company as a whole. The support we were given, not only technically and administratively but creatively from the three venues was overwhelming, and it would have been an entirely different, and less accomplished, show without it.” Ben Mellor, Geddes Loom

“The Routes North project was a brilliant opportunity and really great step for me and Natalie as artists. We were able to show our skills as makers, audience developers and practitioners to new venues in a way that has helped us develop longer term relationships. We were able to make a show with much higher levels of support than ever before, and really saw what we do well, and where we need to push ourselves. The support from the venues was excellent, and we really felt like we were involved in a project that the venues were proud of.” Javaad Alipoor, Soroush

As the initiative enters its fourth year, we are now looking for an emerging professional artist or company to make a new piece of work with us in early 2016.

For more details on who can apply and what we are offering click here.

How to apply:
If you are interested in applying, please email us a proposal (max two pages) including details about:

• You/your company – who you are, what stage of development you are at, biogs of key members, reviews of previous shows
• The show you would like to develop
• How you will fund it
• How you would benefit from Routes North and why we should select you
• Some visuals to support your application

Please send your proposals to: by Fri 1 May, 10am.

The closing date for applications is Fri 1 May, 10am.

Interviews for shortlisted companies will be held in Stockton on Mon 11 May 2015. Routes North will make a contribution of up to £75 per company to travel expenses to the interview.

What happened when the Sunday Lunch Project came to Bradford

Is there really a North-South Divide? What differences are there? How can we rethink the way we consume, produce and distribute our products to make the world more equal and more sustainable? Why is Britain Broken? And can we fix it or is it a case of make do and mend? These questions and more came up at in Bradford last week at the Sunday Lunch Project with Rebecca Atkinson-Lord - if you missed it you can listen to the recordings here

Sunday Lunch Project 150215 Bradford Q1: Different Generational Values. How do I manage it? by Rebecca Atkinson-Lord on Mixcloud

Sunday Lunch Project Bradford 150215 Q6: Consumption and sustainability by Rebecca Atkinson-Lord on Mixcloud

Sunday Lunch Project 150215 Q3:Why is Britain Broken? And can we fix it or must we make do and mend? by Rebecca Atkinson-Lord on Mixcloud

Sunday Lunch Project Bradford 150215: Q2 Can we avoid the major dangers of climate change? by Rebecca Atkinson-Lord on Mixcloud

The Sunday Lunch Project in Bradford 150215 Q3: How much is enough? by Rebecca Atkinson-Lord onMixcloud

Sunday Lunch Project in Bradford 150215 Q4: Is there really a North South divide? by Rebecca Atkinson-Lord on Mixcloud

Selina Thompson 'As Wide and As Deep As The Sea'

Selina Thompson will be taking part in a new series of residencies taking place at Theatre in the Mill  and across the country 'where I explore what it means to be black in cities that aren’t my own'

'I’m going to be working with East Street Arts in Leeds, Theatre in the Mill in Bradford, Sheffield Theatres & Eclipse, The REP In Birmingham, Northern Stage in Newcastle and the Ovalhouse in London in a series of little residencies where I explore what it means to be black in cities that aren’t my own, in the same way that I explored what it was to have natural hair in Chapeltown in 2013. I will do some writing and some making and thinking and some residence-ing  (and probably some crying, because that’s a big part of being in residence anywhere, right?) And then we show a film and eat popcorn, and have a  big conversation because WHY THE HELL NOT.

Then, in Autumn, I go back to those same venues with my absolute bubsy of a show, Dark and Lovely, after a little Edinburgh run'.

Read the full post from Selina here...

Jason Hird in residency at Theatre in the Mill with Imove

Imove Arts and Theatre in the Mill are supporting the R&D for All one & alone by Jason Hird.  The project was designed to support emerging artists from all genres, and to provide stretching opportunities for early and mid career artists, through new collaborations, especially across art forms.  The project was interested in fostering collaborations between artists who bring different audiences together, introducing each to new forms and experiences.

From: the Star & Peacock


the Dog & Drum



star and peacock dog and the drum

'I am creating a new artistic work and would like you to help me develop it. At this stage, I don’t know if it is a stand-up solo show, or a treasure hunt journey, or something else entirely…

I’m trying to work out what I can do to make the world a better place. I have been thinking about democracy, participation and frustration, among many other things.

This all stems from an idea I’ve been pondering: about what would happen if we replaced our current democracy with a parliament selected entirely at random from the population, similar to selection for Jury Service. How would our world change if 650 randomly selected human beings ran the country for the next five years?

I have the beginnings of ideas, opinions, rants, structures and frameworks. I will be exploring these at Theatre in the Mill in Bradford between the 19th and 28th January. I’m hoping that you could spare an hour or two to come along to help me shape the work - to walk, talk, think, dance, sing or play through some of the speculations and bring a different point of view into the room.

Monday 19 to Friday 23 January, 10.15am until 2.30pm

– drop in for a conversation.

Saturday 24 & Monday 26 to Wednesday 28 January, 11am to 9.15pm

– four exploratory sessions per day for a maximum of 6 people per slot. Sessions will run at 11am – 1pm, 2pm – 4pm, 4.15pm – 6.15pm, 7.15pm – 9.15pm.

Please book your place in advance if you can, by email or phone (though I won’t turn anyone away)

PLACE: Theatre in the MIll. Bradford, BD7 1NX.

At the end of the week, I’ll be developing my ideas into plans for a new production/project to stage later this year.

For more information, an advance conversation or to ‘book in’, please contact'

Generously supported by: Imove, Theatre in the Mill and the Institute for Crazy Dancing…

imove logo


The Rise and Fall of a North Star nominated as Best Play in Manchester Evening News Manchester City Life awards

The Rise and Fall of a Northern Star by Stella Grundy (which was shown at Theatre in the Mill in work in progress form and directed in it's current incarnation by our very own Iain Bloomfield) which has been nominated as Best Play in Manchester Evening News Manchester City Life awards. And if you missed its previous work in progress showing here at the mill, keep your eye out for our Spring/Summer 2015 season!

'Stella Grundy’s one-woman show The Rise And Fall Of A Northern Star, which follows Tracy Star, a Harpurhey kid who becomes a Madchester icon.

It started the year at The Lowry - performed in a dressing room - as part of The Library Theatre’s re:play festival, and has gone on to enjoy sell out runs and five star reviews everywhere - including from us.' Manchester Evening News

Arts Council NPO announcement

Theatre in the Mill are very happy to announce that we will remain a part of Arts Council England's National Portfolio from 2015 - 18.

This application round felt considerably tougher as the pressure on the public purse grows in line with the government's austerity measures.

Demand for NPO funding outstripped supply by over £70 million, the portfolio shrunk from approximately 700 to 670 organisations, with 58 organisations losing NPO funding altogether.

We are exceptionally proud that a small organisation like ours continues to be recognised as an important part of the national arts infrastructure.

Our thoughts go out to our many good friends for whom the National Portfolio news was less good.

Iain Bloomfield

Artistic Director

Theatre in the Mill

How to find us

Theatre in the Mill, Off Shearbridge Road, Bradford

Post code for Sat Navs: BD7 1NX

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