As part of the necessary response to the Coronavirus outbreak in the UK, we were forced to close our doors to theatre and art performances on 17th March 2020. Unbeknownst to pretty much all of us, at that time, we would be battling against the effects of the virus for the foreseeable future. Fast forward almost 18 months and we’re finally back but the fight is far from over.

If you’ve followed our story through the last few months, with ever-declining funding and a complete halt to our main source of income (ticket sales), we are facing some significant challenges. 


Every donation that is made to us, no matter how large or small, is vital in ensuring the vibrancy, accessibility and financial well-being of this unique venue.

Managed and operated as a charitable trust since 2015 we receive declining grant funding from Allerdale Borough Council. In FY 2022/23 we will receive £45,000 (from £150,000 in 2015). That will reduce each year by £15,000 to £0.

Highlights of what the Carnegie does includes:

  • 140 + performances over a range of genres per year
  • 13 days of dance and musical festivals per year
  • 30,000+ theatre admissions per year
  • Carnegie Music Centre where learning music is enjoyed by both young people and adults
  • Carnegie Music Centre is an accredited Arts Awards Centre
  • Regular community meeting place, clubs and classes
  • Cafe Carnegie

“The Carnegie touches so many peoples lives in Workington and surrounding Districts, and it will continue to do so in the future.”

Norman Brayton, Chairman, Carnegie Singers

While our mainstream programme of theatre events is extremely popular the Carnegie is and can be much more. The Trust has major plans afoot to develop the Carnegie to enable more people to take advantage of more opportunities to develop and express their creativity, and to support them to engage with the widest possible range of culture. We are a unique asset nestled amongst some of the most talented individuals in the country. To redevelop the Carnegie we need your help.

With annual running costs in excess of £500,000 and a Grade II Listed building which is in need of tender loving care plus the need to develop what the Carnegie does to build on the Carnegie Music Centre and Youth Theatre we need more funding now through all of; ticket sales (the Carnegie takes on average 30% of the price of a ticket bought with the other 70% going to promoters/artists), sundry sales (food/drink, sweets etc), grants, alternative funders and donations to survive. It is that simple.

If you wish to support us you can do so by considering either a one off or regular donation by clicking the button below which will take you to our donations page: