Thousands of pounds worth of grants have been handed out to young artists across the South East of the UK.

No Strings Attached, from Farnham Maltings, awards artists from the South East aged 18-25 with funds ranging from £500-£1,000 to help them develop their first piece of theatre.

The successful applicants are also partnered with a professional mentor to give them valuable advice to get their work off the ground.

Charlie Howitt, 25, of Reverend Productions, received £1,000 from the scheme and, along with co-director Brian McMahon, plans to use the money to take her play on tour next year. She said: “This first tour will be a huge step for us in establishing ourselves and being awarded this grant was such a gift.”

Ms Howitt’s piece, Nerve, is a provocative drama which explores themes of morality, religion, politics, murder, abortion and apathy in contemporary Britain. 

Ms Howitt said: “The play was developed from a desire to understand how morality is defined.

I often felt uncomfortable while writing the play and for me that’s when I know I’m doing something right.”

Other winners of this grant include Joss Lacey and Ese Ighorae, of Letters to Centre Stage. They were awarded £1,000 to develop a piece dealing with the issues of identity and female abductions in Nigeria. The money will be used to fund the development of their piece into a professional production at the Cockpit Theatre in Marylebone, London.

Artists were required to present their idea to a panel of arts practitioners and young people in a ten minute presentation to apply for these grants.

Gavin Stride, Director of Farnham Maltings said: “We wanted to create the simplest process with the least conditions, in the belief that changing our behaviour would encourage a great range of new ideas and young people.

And every group of young people that we have invested in has delivered more than they promised.”

This is the seventh year Farnham Maltings have handed out the grants.