Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 16°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Sudbury/Bury St Edmunds: Quay Theatre sends reassuring message to Theatre Royal after Arts Council funding withdrawn

15:00 22 July 2014

Bryn Hurren (chair of board of directors) and Nicki Murphy (Quay coordinator).

Bryn Hurren (chair of board of directors) and Nicki Murphy (Quay coordinator).

Archant

As Bury’s Theatre Royal mourns the loss of 8% of its income, another of west Suffolk’s small venues is thriving despite receiving no Arts Council funding since 2008.

shares

The Theatre Royal has been left looking for alternative funding sources after it missed out on the latest round of Arts Council grants.

But the Quay Theatre in Sudbury has survived through several rocky patches during the past 30 years and has recently turned its fortunes around, helped only by a £35,000 annual grant from Babergh District Council and £9,500 from Sudbury Town Council.

According to Quay co-ordinator and board director Nicki Murphy, the theatre’s survival is largely down to a team of 50 volunteers, who have donated around 9,000 hours of work between them during the past year and have helped to pull the community venue back from the financial brink.

It costs £75,000 a year to keep the Quay open and the £30,000 shortfall is made up by hard-working fundraisers.

Ms Murphy said: “We were very sorry to hear that the Theatre Royal has had its funding cut.

“It isn’t easy and we have certainly had our issues in recent times which led to us having to make staff redundant three years ago – without volunteers, we would not be here.

“We survive mostly with in-house fundraising through concerts and events.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about house keeping and the way you organise the programming. For us it has been about offering a diverse programme that appeals to everyone.”

Bryn Hurren, chairman of the board, said without Arts Council funding, staff and volunteers had “mucked in and got on with it themselves”. This was now starting to pay dividends.

He added: “We have broadened our horizons as to what we put on, and we have made a huge effort to publicise ourselves better, both by using IT and by getting out into the local community.

“As a result, we have had lots of sell out shows recently that have turned a profit and we have gone more towards music, which has gone down very well with the public.

“It has been a lot of hard work but now that we are on the up, we have even been able to employ an extra person which has given us an uplift.

“We hope that Babergh will continue to fund us next year because we are a big success story for them.”

For its next fundraising performance, Quay Productions is set to stage Kennedy’s Children, from August 7 to 9. In the thought-provoking play, written by Robert Patrick, five Americans look back at their lifestyles in the 1960s. All monies raised from ticket sales will be donated straight to the theatre.

The Quay is also looking to raise an extra £35,000 this year through sponsorship to replace the theatre seating. For more information, call 01787 374745.

shares

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Libby Brown headteacher at Kyson Primary, Woodbridge.

A board of school governors has launched a fierce attack on Suffolk County Council, accusing it of putting their headteacher through a “painful and protracted ordeal” – stopping her from working for almost two months.

Damaged bridge at Blunts Hall between Witham and Hatfield Peverel. Picture: Network Rail

Many services travelling between Ipswich, north Essex and London faced disruption this morning as emergency repair work on a bridge at Hatfield Peverel continues.

Barclays bank on Princes Street in Ipswich.

Two more men have been arrested after a fight which ended up closing Barclays bank in Ipswich town centre.

Carrie Willis is pictured at Ipswich Art School with the jug.

The mother of the little boy who accidentally broke a puzzle jug in a Christchurch Mansion mishap has contacted museums service staff in Ipswich to tell them how happy he is that the historic piece has been repaired.

South East Suffolk Magistrates Court

South East Suffolk Magistrates Court in Ipswich was evacuated for an hour today after a man was seen acting suspiciously in the car park.

Large crowds during the Maverick Festival

Maverick Festival director Paul Spencer says people have accused him of “making a deal with the devil” when it comes to the weather on the first weekend of July.

The A14

A caravan has overturned on the westbound carriageway of the A14 near Stowmarket.

Tom Odell performs at Thetford High lodge in the last of the Forestry commission summer open air concerts of 2015 - Lee Blanchflower

Singer-songwriter Tom Odell took to the stage at Thetford Forest last night to play out the final show of the Forest Live concert series in Suffolk.

Mandy Hearle launches her Ping project

A fundraiser who last year completed a daily dare day for global emergency medical aid has taken on an equally ambitious venture for 2015.

At Ipswich Hospital, the number of days lost due to ill-health fell from 25,790 in 2013/14 to 23,547 in 2014/15  a fall of 9% in a year.

The number of days lost due to staff sickness at Suffolk’s two main hospitals has fallen over the last year.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages