A MULTI-million pound appeal to ensure the continued cultural contribution of The Sage Gateshead has received high-profile backing from the worlds of arts, business, education and sport.
Former MP David Miliband, Oscar-winning film producer Lord Puttnam, Olympic athlete Jonathan Edwards, Sir Peter Vardy and the building’s architect, Lord Foster, are among those putting their shoulder to the 10th Birthday Appeal aimed at raising a new endowment for the venue to coincide with its anniversary next year.
They join existing patrons including Mark Knopfler, Kathryn Tickell, conductor Lorin Maazel in supporting the effort to raise £4m, which will enable the music centre – a registered charity – to capitalise on the Arts Council’s 50% matched funding scheme – translating to every pound raised being worth an extra 50p. The appeal has already raised £1.5m, and if it reaches its £4m target, the Arts Council Catalyst Endowment Scheme will contribute an additional £2m.
Lord Falconer, chairman of Sage Gateshead, said: “We have until just after our 10th birthday to raise £4m and so we are thrilled to have such a fantastic group of patrons to support us in this ambitious mission. The endowment will be invested and provide an income every year which will enable us to build our international, artistic programme and ensure a continuing legacy for future generations to enjoy.”
David Miliband said: “The work of The Sage Gateshead is very close to my heart. I led the work on the music manifesto when I was education minister, it has always been at the forefront of music education work making a major impact locally, nationally and now with a growing international reach and reputation.”
Lord Foster added: “We are very proud of The Sage Gateshead. Its auditoria and public spaces have supported a diverse international programme of the highest quality, and it is wonderful to see these performances and events bring joy to so many people. Looking to the future, we believe it will continue to thrive and bring international cultural events to the area, as well as encouraging new talent.”
Anthony Sargent, general director of the venue, said the public can also get involved with supporting the appeal. He said: “They can name a seat in one of our world-class concert halls, give a one-off or regular monthly gift or organise a fundraising activity. Gifts of all amounts are very welcome.”