2016 PRIZE

The winner of the inaugural Achates Prize was announced at the annual Spektrix Conference in November 2016. The Award was presented by eminent philanthropist, David Verey and won by Theatre Royal Stratford East and Nigel Farnall.

Download the 2016 Prize press release for full details of all nominees.



Theatre Royal Stratford East and Nigel Farnall

Theatre Royal Stratford East has been at the heart of the community in East London for over 60 years. The theatre has a long history of producing award-winning shows, which have transferred to the West End, toured the UK and abroad. Situated in Newham, an area where arts engagement is the lowest in England at 29%, Theatre Royal Stratford East produces world-class work that connects with the lives of local people. Its programmes and projects with young people in East London engage them as artists and as individuals with something to say, understand and change about their world. Through these relationships the organisation nurtures a diversity of talent and audiences that stands out in UK theatre and internationally. Nigel Farnall was nominated by Theatre Royal Stratford East for donating £3,000.


Nominees came from the worlds of dance, theatre and the visual arts.

Northern Ballet and Jessica Smallpiece

Royal Shakespeare Company and Dave Maclean

The Fruitmarket Gallery and Alexander & Miranda Leslie

The Yard Theatre and Francesco Curto

Theatre 503 and Ben Hall Theatre

Turner Contemporary and Jonathan Wilmot


Caroline McCormick Director of Achates Philanthropy  

Libby Penn Spektrix Managing Director

Aliceson Robinson young hhilanthropy champion

Rossella Traverso BOP Consulting

Nigel Farnall on winning in 2016 and the value of the Prize…

"Having come into the world of culture quite recently, one of the biggest surprises for myself, was how most organisations within the sector rely on sponsors and donors to help secure funding for their projects. I had previously assumed that ticket sales, grants and government funding generally had kept the ‘show on the road’, but this is, sadly, clearly not the case.

As a donor to Theatre Royal Stratford East (TRSE) I have seen my money in action – either on the stage, within their various programmes working within the community or within their infrastructure, and I'm proud to have been a part, albeit a minor one, of their ongoing development. Having won the Achates Prize in 2016, I hope this has placed TRSE further in the spotlight  to enable people like me to explore avenues which will be of similar benefit to the organisation and help secure the future of the buildings and projects for future generations, and hopefully a wider audience throughout the community, to experience the life improving benefits TRSE has to offer".

Nigel Farnall and Angelica Puscasu winners of the 2016 Achates Philanthropy Prize for supporting Theatre Royal Stratford East.