WORCESTER'S Swan Theatre is one of only four regional producing theatres in the country not to get its share of a new £25 million arts grant.

And theatre bosses have spoken of their "deep frustration" at the news, especially as they are soon to premiere the Worcester Century Plays cycle, written by local authors and using a community company of actors.

A statement issued by the theatre says: "We would like to stress that, despite receiving no additional funding, our current and projected funding is unaffected.

"We also welcome the news that an appeals process is to be announced and we look forward to working through that procedure with West Midlands Arts and the Arts Council of England."

There was a completely different story at the Courtyard arts centre, Hereford, which received one of the largest increases in the country - 417 per cent.

The Arts Council of England has awarded £133,000 to the venue to extend its range of in-house productions. It has already produced more than 20 of its own shows.

"We are bowled over by this announcement," said artistic director Jonathan Stone. "I am delighted that all of our hard work in the two and a half years since we opened has been rewarded in this way."