Chichester Festival Theatre in line for major sustainability award

Chichester Festival Theatre has been awarded gold in the Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable category at the Beautiful South Awards.

Chichester Festival Theatre's Kathy Bourne (Executive Director) and Daniel Evans (Artistic Director) Photo Seamus Ryan
Chichester Festival Theatre's Kathy Bourne (Executive Director) and Daniel Evans (Artistic Director) Photo Seamus Ryan

Run by Tourism South East, the awards recognised achievements in the tourism sector under the continued challenges of 2021-22.

Success has led to CFT being shortlisted in the same category at the national Visit England Awards for Excellence 2022. The winner will be announced on June 8.

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Georgina Rae, head of planning and projects at CFT, said: “CFT’s Gold award recognises its commitment to being sustainable, responsible and ethical in how the theatre operates and interacts with visitors, the community and the environment. It is a testament to the wide range of activities undertaken by the theatre including: planting trees in Oaklands Park in place of buying press night gifts; the introduction of a partnership with Ecologi, enabling audiences to plant trees and offset their journey to the theatre; offering digital content and accessible streamed productions wherever possible for both national and international audiences; and the provision of community initiatives through the theatre’s LEAP (Learning, Education and Participation) programme such as weekly phone calls to isolated individuals from CFT Buddies during lockdown, the Young Carers Connect project supplying laptops and creative activities to 300 young carers and 2021’s Winter Wellbeing Festival.

“The award also acknowledged the theatre’s Green strategy, including sustainable projects such as recycling Covid-19 tests and PPE, replacing the Minerva lighting with low-impact LEDs, a free cycle hire scheme for visiting artists and the local supply chain of caterers Caper & Berry.”

The CFT is now shortlisted as a finalist in the same category in Visit England’s national awards, which champion the country’s tourism industry, celebrating quality, innovation and best practice – guaranteeing a bronze, silver or gold award.

VisitEngland chief executive Patricia Yates said: “These awards celebrate the businesses and individuals in tourism across England who have delivered excellence during the last year and it is fantastic to see such an outstanding list of finalists.

“The impressive list reflects the sheer scale of innovation, quality and experiences across England’s tourism industry and I congratulate all the finalists and wish them the very best of luck.

“Millions of jobs and local economies depend on tourism and this year’s awards are also a timely opportunity to acknowledge the determination and dedication of tourism businesses as they rebuild, and continue to champion best practice and customer service excellence, providing visitors with a stand-out experience.”

Georgina added: “It is fantastic that our work in improving our sustainability and efforts to operate in a responsible and ethical manner have been recognised.

“We are committed to continuing to make improvements and see positive change in all of these areas and in everything that CFT does. With over 300 eligible regional winners in 15 categories competing for the highest accolade in English tourism, we are honoured to be recognised among a raft of outstanding organisations across the country.”

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