Image: Helen Maybanks

A London theatre has announced a scheme to invest one million pounds in commissioning new plays.

Hampstead Theatre have already raised £500,000 as part of the initiative, a foundation has pledged to match that money to take the funds to £1M.

Commissioning has already begun for new plays and works at the theatre.

Edward Hall, the Artistic Director, said: “This represents a major investment in the future of British theatre.

“Writers need to be commissioned to write for the stage and survive while they are doing it, and we are going to be in the position to support writers to produce a significant body of new work.

“Hampstead theatre will be able to produce a whole raft of new work, and over time productions of these plays could add significantly to the cannon.”

The first half of the raised money has been match by the AKO Foundation, which is an organisation that helps education and the arts.

Nicolai Tangen, from AKO, said: “In these uncertain financial times, I am delighted that the AKO Foundation is able to contribute to the vibrant landscape of new writing in the excellent hands of Edward Hall and Greg Ripley-Duggan, whose programming, especially when it comes to championing new work, has brought unprecedented success to the theatre.

“I hope that the Foundation’s endowment will build on that momentum as Hampstead continues to seek and encourage fresh discovery to entertain as wide an audience as possible.”

Mr Hall and Mr Ripley-Duggan took over the Hampstead Theatre in 2010, and have since introduced 17 new plays.

Hampstead Theatre have pledged to spend a million pounds on new plays and shows. For more information about the theatre, click here.