Councils invest six figures into town theatres

Adur and Worthing councils have agreed a bid to give a six figure investment to help theatres in Worthing town centre.


The Connaught Theatre    Cinama   Theatre   Union Place   Worthing
W03049H14-Theatre. The Connaught Theatre Cinama Theatre Union Place Worthing

The figure, which comes to £146,610, was approved by the joint strategic committee, which will see a number of renovated features to the Pavilion Theatre in Marine Parade, and the Connaught Theatre in Union Place.

Speaking at the committee meeting last week, head of culture Amanda O’Reilly claimed the investment would create more bookings and generate greater audience figures.

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“With funding, stars will want to come to our studios,” she said. “If we can start to build an audience for small music gigs and other pieces of work, it helps us build a reputation. We have a box office which has suffered fatally and it is not great. Mistakes have been made before, but we can put that right now.”

It is recommended the funding will provide new seating for the Connaught Studio, which currently has five seat breakages every week.

The Pavilion Theatre meanwhile, will have an overhaul of the audio system, as the equipment is more than 20 years old.

Currently, 33 per cent of complaints at the Pavilion are about the quality of the audio equipment.

Other improvements include additional lighting and audio, flooring replacement, and a new personal ticketing system known as ‘Spectrix’.

Councillor Mark Nolan supported the proposal, but was concerned about a return in investment.

He said: “I am more than happy to support this and I have much support for the work Amanda is doing, but there are challenges there, and it is about what resources we have.

“We need to start to see a financial return, and we are borrowing the money for this, which is fine, but it means we need to see a result.”

The work is expected to see payback within four years.

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