£8m charity gift to arts projects

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The Independent Culture

More than £8 million has been given to 11 theatres, galleries and museums for education projects by one of the country's most prominent philanthropists.

Among the organisations sharing grants of £8.2 million, from the Clore Duffield Foundation, are Kensington Palace, the Museum of Liverpool, the National Theatre in London, and Porthcurno Telegraph Museum in Cornwall.

Dame Vivien Duffield, who runs the foundation, said: "I believe passionately that children and young people deserve the very best opportunities to benefit from the transforming power of our world-class cultural organisations.

"I am delighted that we have been able to support such outstanding projects created by some of the best architects, in museums, galleries and theatres across the country - even in a royal palace.

"Now, more than ever, I believe that culture should be at the heart of our children's learning."

Other organisations benefiting from the Clore Duffield Foundation money include the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester, Margate's Turner Contemporary Gallery, the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon and Kettle's Yard in Cambridge.

Dame Vivien said the donations were "not simply plugging a government hole".

Speaking at a press conference at the National Theatre, she said: "We've always done this and I've always considered it the duty of philanthropists not to fill in for what government can't do but to go out and do things that the government really hasn't got the ability to do.

"In other words, we are not doing a staple diet, we are providing the icing on the cake."

More than a quarter of the money, £2.5 million, has gone to the National Theatre.

Its director Nicholas Hytner praised what he described as "an extraordinarily generous" donation.

He said: "It is the job of this organisation, it's the job of this building to provide a platform to educate."

The foundation was set up in 1964 by Dame Vivien's father, tycoon Sir Charles Clore.