Details of Worthing Council’s theatres business plan released

AHEAD of a council meeting to discuss the future of Worthing’s theatres, details of what the business proposal includes have been released.

Worthing Borough Council’s senior theatres management team has produced a business plan to reduce the net operating cost of the theatres service by at least 25 per cent “whilst producing a sustainable and viable theatre offer for the future”.

The plan will be considered by the Joint Strategic Committee at 6.30pm on Tuesday, March 27, at the Adur Civic Centre.

The report highlights the main areas for generating additional income and the investment required which has been considered by the Theatres Working Group to meet the challenging financial targets set by the Council in the future management and operation of the Worthing Theatres.

The highlights of the draft plan include:

– Providing a viable and sustainable theatre offer at the Connaught Theatre, Pavilion Theatre and in the Ritz Digital Cinema

– Recommending that the Council continues to operate at the Assembly Hall, but on a reduced programme of activities. Primary focus is on the Wurlitzer Organ concerts, the Worthing Symphony Orchestra and classical concerts alongside private hire events such as dance and the London Taxi event

– Bringing the theatres catering in-house which will offer improved service and many opportunities for the venues

– Installing a new box office system that will improve the booking service to theatre-goers and is the key to unlocking many exciting new initiatives to improve the theatre experience in Worthing

– Installing a new digital projector in the Connaught Theatre to offer an improved cinematic experience

– Introducing a ticket levy to fund future improvements to the facilities

– Exploring opportunities for attracting sponsors and other external funding streams

– Increasing staff resources to ensure the business plan can be implemented

The report sets out how the above initiatives and many others planned will generate a substantial increase in income from running the theatres, some of which will be put towards future improvements, but also making an substantial contribution to meeting the savings target and reducing the subsidy by £190,000 per year.

The report and draft business plan can be found on www.worthing.gov.uk