Worthing Theatres on the up
Released: Monday, 22 May 2017
Worthing Theatres' pivotal role in the cultural life of our communities is today emphasised with new figures that reveal surges in ticket sales and audience numbers.
The dynamic diversity of programmes across the three venues, Connaught Theatre, Pavilion Theatre and Assembly Hall, has resulted in rising incomes, profits on most shows, more first time visits and more repeat visits.
Film, dance, comedy, family entertainment have all seen rising figures over the last three years new figures released today show.
And this has helped produce a remarkable turnaround in fortunes according to projected budget figures for the end of the financial year to April 2017.
Worthing Theatres, part of the Borough Council's cultural offering, has turned an overspend of £484,000 in 2014 into a marginal overspend of £25,000 for the financial year 2016/17, the projected figures are showing.
The figures released today for the last three years also show that:
- An 88 per cent increase in profits on events
- Ticket revenue was up 23 per cent in the period
- Tickets sold increased 17 per cent
- Forty per cent of customers booked four or more times
- And a staggering 39 per cent of audience last year came to Theatres for the first time
Although the overall budget figure has yet to be signed off by Worthing Borough Council the turnaround has delighted Theatres chiefs.
Cllr Heather Mercer, the council's Executive Member for Customer Services said:
”I am so thrilled by this news. We've gone on a long, hard journey but a combination of tough costs controls and a brilliant programme of events under Head of Culture Amanda O'Reilly has turned this into a success story.
“A strong cultural offering is really important for the quality of life a community offers and Worthing Theatres is playing its full part in this.”
Ms O'Reilly added:
“I'm so proud of my team. We've worked so hard to modernise our programme while not jettisoning some much-loved favourites.
“We have begun to get a reputation for innovation. Summer of Circus, our season of performance circus, was a massive hit in its first year and will be even bigger this. We've become known as a centre for circus in the UK which is wonderful. And we are a must stop off for many of the top comedy acts from around the world.
“There is something for everyone at our theatres and we are going to keep getting better and better.”
The Borough Council's three-year strategic blueprint Platforms For Our Places makes clear that a strong cultural offering is essential to the economic prosperity of Worthing, helping with inward investment by attracting new people and businesses with fresh skills and resources to live here and also supporting existing leisure services such as restaurants and bars as part of a wider offering.
Video: Interview about 'Worthing Theatres on the up' with Head of Culture, Amanda O'Reilly
See also: Worthing Theatres' website
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