Wolverhampton Grand launch new travel scheme for Black Country schools

(L-R) Jan Jennings, Richardsons; Nathan Hadley, Prospect Coaches; Alex Rawlings, Headteacher; Claire Hadley King, Prospect Coaches; Jane Cole, Grand Theatre and Vicky Price, Grand Theatre with pupils, Zach and Hettie

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre has launched a pilot travel scheme, which will provide schools with complimentary coach travel to and from the theatre, when booking to see a production.

The pilot has been funded by The Richardson Brothers Foundation with support from Prospect Coaches, businesses that both have Black Country heritage.
The pilot stage will offer schools within the Brierley Hill area complimentary travel to the theatre within the next twelve months. The current criteria for applicants is a DY5 postcode and a minimum proportion of 25% pupil premium. Further funding is being sought by the theatre to open the scheme to Wolverhampton and surrounding areas.
The travel scheme has been created in response to feedback from educational establishments that are finding it increasing difficult to fund extra-curricular visits. It also supports the UK Theatre national advocacy campaign Theatre For Every Child. A campaign that supports has the right for every child to visit a theatre, to experience the joy and opportunity that it can bring.
The Richardson business was founded more than 70 years ago in the Black Country and has grown into a successful international investment company with a business portfolio that is embedded across the world. Following decades of charitable support by the family, the Richardson Brothers Foundation was established in 2006.

Today, it continues to give financial support to a wide range of charities and individuals. Jan Jennings, speaking on behalf of the Richardson Brothers Foundation, said:
“The Richardson family business has its roots in the Black Country and now enjoys global success. The Richardson Brothers Foundation is delighted to support this pilot travel scheme that provides new opportunities for children and young people in Brierley Hill so they can enjoy visiting The Grand Theatre in Wolverhampton.”
Black Country Based Prospect Coaches specialise in Coach Hire Services in the West Midlands. Since establishing in 1964, Prospect Coaches has provided dependable luxury transport throughout the UK.

They specialise in school transportation whilst also providing affordable travel solutions for business, international trips, sporting events, concerts and much more. Managing Director Nathan Hadley added:
“Education is a core part of our business, and we are thrilled to join this initiative with two other long standing Black Country companies that share our own values.
The first school to visit the theatre using the travel scheme will be Quarry Bank Primary School to The Boy At The Back Of The Classroom this April. Head Teacher Alex Rawlings said,

“The children here at Quarry Bank have a fantastic time visiting the theatre. For them to see a live production of a book they are studying massively supports their learning, whilst also exposing them to the magic of theatre.

"This financial assistance with travel is hugely appreciated by both the school and parents”.
Adrian Jackson CEO and Artistic Director of Wolverhampton Grand Theatre added:
“The community is at the heart of everything we do here at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre and young people are an integral part of the community.

"One visit to the theatre could inspire a creative career path and a lifelong passion for the arts, and this is something we should encourage year on year.
To apply for complimentary travel please contact Vicky Price, Associate Director, Audiences & Communication by email


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