Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 3°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Sudbury/Bury St Edmunds: Quay Theatre sends reassuring message to Theatre Royal after Arts Council funding withdrawn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

Mark Bee and his deputy Lisa Chambers at Endeavour House in Ipswich after they saw off last year's challenge to their leadership.

Conservative councillor Mark Bee is to step down as leader of Suffolk County Council after four years in the role.

Voting isn't the only form of political engagement

The ideological machine that is meant to serve us has gone wrong and is tyrannising us, but that doesn’t mean we should boycott the ballot box

Suffolk has an ageing population - but can we cope?

Dramatic increases in the average age of people in Suffolk have been highlighted in a report which reveals that in some areas nearly one in 10 are expected to be aged 85 or over in the next two decades.

Damage to overhead wires between Diss and Stowmarket - photo courtesy of Greater Anglia

Rail users face an afternoon and evening of severe delays on routes between Norwich and London, after high winds caused damage to overhead power lines between Stowmarket and Diss.

There is the potential for sweeping changes at Braintree District Council come election day – though in practice that is unlikely to happen.

Klaudia Sokolowska

Police are searching for a 14-year-old girl in Felixstowe who has gone missing for the third time in three months.

Hunting for eggs

Will you be feeding the newborn lambs at The Museum of East Anglian Life, trying your hand at archery at Ickworth House or hunting eggs at The Middy’s Steam up this weekend?

Princess Anne meets Livability Treetops Service Manager Janet Bilton during her visit to Livability Treetops in Colchester on Tuesday.

The Princess Royal flew in to Colchester today as part of her work supporting a disability charity.

Firefighters were called to the house fire

Firefighters were called to a house fire in Stowmarket this afternoon.

Fears over future of probation service in Suffolk and elsewhere in East Anglia

Criminals jailed for up to a year could be supervised over the phone and use kiosks to report to the probation service electronically once they are released back in the community.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages