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Record Year for Maltings

Thu 29 Sep

Maltings breaks records with ‘best-ever’ year

England’s northernmost theatre, The Maltings Theatre & Cinema in Berwick-upon-Tweed, has announced a record-breaking year today with the release of its Annual Report and Accounts for 2010-11.


“It appears that we’ve broken almost every record in our history,” said Dr Miles Gregory, chief executive and artistic director at the busy Berwick venue, “from bar sales to box office income. This is an incredible time for our theatre and the whole town should be very proud of The Maltings.”


The Maltings, once a struggling arts centre with a chequered financial history and selling just 23,000 tickets a year, is now – just three years later – a flagship regional venue selling almost 50,000 tickets annually with a national reputation for excellence and hospitality.


The decision taken by the Trustees in late 2008 to adopt a bold, innovative, quality-led approach to turn around the theatre’s fortunes has led to results this year which would have been unthinkable in the past.


The theatre’s box office income at the year ending 31 March 2011 is 44% higher than the previous year. Since 2008, income from ticket sales has increased by 96%. Box office income is now nearly three times greater than 2006-07, increasing from £98,000 to £289,000 last financial year.


The theatre’s earned income (total income excluding state funding) has increased by 53% on the previous year, and 179% since 2008, growing from £198,540 in 2007-08 to £553,317 in 2010-11, despite the Maltings’ annual state funding reducing by some £30,000 in the same period.


The Arts Council’s own formal annual review of The Maltings notes that last year ‘was an exceptional year for The Maltings, continuing the momentum that began to grow with the appointment of Miles Gregory as Artistic Director. […] these figures indicate substantial growth, and are impressive achievements at a time when public funding for the organisation has reduced substantially.”


The team at The Maltings has been working extremely hard to consolidate the venue’s reputation as the North-East's leading mid-scale theatre by focussing on the quality of the work presented and thinking carefully about the customers’ experience.


The theatre’s Arts Council funding will be quadrupled from April 2012, the fourth highest percentage increase in the country. This future increase in funding is regarded as representing a significant vote of confidence on the part of the Arts Council in The Maltings’ track record and trajectory.


From 2012 onwards The Maltings will deliver an ambitious visual arts programme in the town and area, while also improving the arts education on offer.


“Our success should be seen as the result of increased confidence and pride in this theatre on the part of our community and our funders, who have responded to our leadership, vision and ambition,” said Dr Miles Gregory, outgoing chief executive and artistic director.


“None of this would have been possible without the support of Northumberland County Council, who clearly understand the vast economic and social benefits that The Maltings brings to our region. The funding we receive from the Council is absolutely critical to our continued survival”


“Our future is extremely bright – and we have developed a national reputation as a leading theatre. I will always be extremely proud of what my team and I, supported by the Board of Trustees, have achieved in such a short space of time.”


“The year has seen an impressive expansion of our programme, tickets sales and activities,” said Mr Maurice Ward, Chairman of the Board of Trustees.


“This has been achieved by the vision, skill and industry of Dr. Gregory, along with a strong management and staff team who have worked tirelessly throughout the year to meet their aims. I am especially pleased by the compliments I have received from audience members about both the performances and the friendly, helpful attitude of the staff.”


“Several nationally-known performers have also commented to us directly, or more widely to our audiences, on their surprise and delight in performing in such an unexpectedly lovely and welcoming theatre. We are now known throughout the country as a quality venue.”


The record-breaking news comes shortly after Dr Gregory’s announcement that he is to stand down from his post at the end of this year to pursue opportunities abroad. A national recruitment process is being undertaken to find his successor.


A copy of The Maltings annual report and accounts can be downloaded from the theatre’s website at www.maltingsberwick.co.uk.

EDITOR’S NOTES:

For further information contact:
Tamiko Mackie (Marketing & Development Manager / Film Programmer)
Tel: 01289 330 661 (ext. 3)
Email: tamiko.mackie@maltingsberwick.co.uk
Full information on The Maltings Theatre & Cinema: www.maltingsberwick.co.uk

The Maltings Theatre & Cinema

The Maltings Theatre & Cinema in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland is England's most northern theatre and is uniquely positioned on the border between England and Scotland.

The Maltings is currently funded by Northumberland County Council (£103,000 annually, 17% of turnover) and Arts Council England (£42,000 annually, 7% of turnover). On 31 March 2011 The Maltings learned it was successful in its bid for National Portfolio Organisation status with Arts Council England, securing a quadrupling of their annual funding from £42,000 annually in 20111212 to £175,000 annually from 2012, rising to £184,000 by 2015. This was the fourth highest percentage increase in the country.

The building contains the Main House Theatre (a beautiful proscenium arch theatre with raked stalls, circle and boxes, seating 320) and the newly refurbished Henry Travers Studio. The Maltings also includes The Stage Door Bar (a bohemian-style theatre bar), The Maltings Kitchen café and restaurant, the offices of the Berwick-upon-Tweed Film and Media Arts Festival and local arts education charity Think Make Grow, meeting rooms and associated facilities.

The Maltings currently presents over 200 live events annually. With the opening of the refurbished Henry Travers Studio, this will rise to over 300 events by 2012.

The Maltings is one of the northeast’s leading independent cinemas, screening over 200 film titles per year. With the recent installation of a brand new cinema facility in the Travers Studio, that number will rise to at least 300 titles.

Henry Travers Studio refurbishment

The creation of the Henry Travers Studio was funded by the Leader Coast and Lowlands programme, supported by DEFRA and the European Union. The project cost £93,000. £78,000 came from Leader; £3,000 from the Northumberland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty scheme, and The Maltings provided £12,000 from their own resources.

The work included the installation of a new semi-sprung dance floor, retractable seating, a new lighting grid, lamps and electrical works, and a new projector, DVD player and retractable cinema screen.

It is anticipated that around 180 ticketed events will take place in the studio annually, in addition to a full learning programme that will attract around 9,000 attendances every year.

To watch a short film about the renovation of the studio go to http://www.vimeo.com/22016037 (password: henrytravers).
 

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The Maltings is operated by The Maltings (Berwick) Trust Registered Charity No: 701194