The Jamie Watton Flourish Fund

Ensuring Jamie’s legacy for future generations of dance artists

Our late Artistic Director and Chief Executive Jamie Watton was a passionate champion for the dance sector and, in particular, the many artists who make dance such a vital part of the UK’s cultural economy.


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Jamie Watton

Shortly after Jamie’s premature death in July 2018, and with the blessing of his friends and family, we launched a fundraising campaign in his name to help complete The Dance Space, the South East’s new home for dance.

Jamie’s vision for The Dance Space was not only of a place where everybody could come together to experience and celebrate the joy of dance, but also a place where dance artists could flourish and thrive.

Over the course of the last three years, over £25,000 has been donated in Jamie’s memory. Mere words cannot truly express how grateful we are to the many individuals and organisations who have helped make Jamie’s vision for The Dance Space a reality.

But, even though we’ve now reached our capital fundraising target, we want to continue to honour Jamie’s legacy by re-establishing our Flourish annual bursary programme.

The new Jamie Watton Flourish Fund will provide artists at any stage of their career with a small bursary of up to £500, which they can use to access resources to cultivate and enhance their practice. We know from experience that an injection of a few hundred pounds can often be the key that unlocks critical assets at a decisive time in an artist’s career. 

“Flourish allowed me to work with a dramaturg for the first time, supporting the development of my new piece ‘Sea Story’. It was an invaluable opportunity to strengthen and develop my practice and allow the work to reach its full potential. Having that all-important "outside eye" encouraged me to question and challenge myself, and ensured that every step of the process developed not only the piece, but me as an artist. When you have a tight budget this extra support can easily be squeezed out - Flourish gives essential space for growth and development.”

Rachel Birch-Lawson, previous Flourish Bursary recipient


All donations to the Jamie Watton Flourish Fund received between now and next March will go towards providing the first round of new Flourish bursaries next year. We will announce these to coincide with the opening of The Dance Space in April. Bursaries will then be awarded on an annual basis based on donations received in the previous 12 months.

So, if you’re passionate about the future of dance, please consider making a regular gift to The Jamie Watton Flourish Fund. Even a commitment of three pounds a month - roughly the price of a coffee - could make all the difference to an artist’s career. Ultimately though, every donation regardless of size will continue to honour Jamie’s memory and create a lasting legacy in his name. 

And, naturally, alongside making sure that you are credited for your generosity, we will also keep you updated on the artists you are helping to support, and let you know how they are progressing. 

If you have any questions, or if you would like more information, please call Hanna or Andrew on 01273 696844 or e-mail us at fundraising@southeastdance.org.uk.

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