Christopher Samuel 1 (C) Attenborough Arts Centre. Photo by Dani Bower. (low res)

Donations at Attenborough Arts Centre

The AAC is committed to championing inclusion and improving access to the arts for everyone through its wide range of programmes, courses and outreach projects.  In order to achieve our ambition and reach the most people, we need to raise funds to support our work, which we do in a number of ways.

Core Revenue Funders

We are so grateful to our two core funders whose funding enables us to provide a 7 day public service.

University of Leicester provides an annual grant to support our core staff and running costs in recognition of our value to both staff and students and the important role we play in acting as a bridge into local communities as well as the transformative role the arts can play in changing people’s lives.

 Arts Council England have awarded us 4 years of funding until April 2023 to be part of their National Portfolio with a grant of @£207,000 per year.  This has been used to increase our staffing capacity, develop opportunities for emerging artists through our programming, training and commissions, subsidise opportunities for lower income families and individuals to use our venue, and undertake work out in the community with school, disabled young people and their families and community groups. We will be applying in 2022 to be considered for a further 4 years of funding.

A Diwali family extravaganza event where a child is being shown two held up puppets representing Vedic God Lord Rama and Goddess Sita Devi.

Applications to Trusts and Foundations

Trusts and Foundations provide vital support for specific time limited projects, mainly linked to our outreach and education programme.

Current supporters include

  • Paul Hamlyn Foundation (2020-2023) supporting ground breaking work within SEN schools across Leicester/shire to champion the role of the arts in a creative and child centred curriculum
  • Peter Sowerby Foundation (2021-2022)  – linked to strengthening our links into communities through creative digital projects
  • BBC CIN – (2010-2021) – working with over 70 families with Children with profound disabilities across Leicester/shire to offer access to a wide range of arts activities
  • Art Fund (2020-2021) – to create a new family friendly space to learn more about our exhibition programme
  • ISFF Wellcome Trust (2015-2022) – to promote understanding in health and well being with a particular strand promoting collaboration between artists and academics
  • Edith Murphy Foundation (2015-2022) – promoting a range of community based projects to promote health and well being

Here is Jenny playing in an orchestra, photo credit Yuchen Zhu

Individual Gifts and Donations

1000 people donated to our gallery appeal in 2014-15 with gifts from £5 to £30,000 to achieve our target of £1.5 million.

Every year Alumni enable us to fund up to 10 students to access high quality music tuition during their time at the University from either local tutors or the prestigious Philharmonia Orchestra.

Families like Attenborough and Salmon have donated funds to enable us to improve access to our venue.

a group of school children sat down around some paper


Over the past 20 years our ability to champion inclusion has been transformed by the generosity of individuals who have left us bequests in their wills.

From the bequest of a house which we were able to sell to support the Gallery Capital appeal to individual smaller gifts between £100-£10,000 these bequests provide valuable leverage to other funds as well as support our work with children and young people.

With the interest from other significant bequests we are able to award prizes to talented musicians, service the University pianos and undertake work with specific local groups.

a child smiling wearing a plastic apron

Other ways to support us

Support our income generation schemes – we rely on people buying things from our shop, attending our paid events or participating on our creative learning courses. Every pound you spend with us is reinvested into our programme or staff resources.

Buy a Chair Scheme – will buy you a plaque on our suite of chairs to celebrate a loved one or a special event.