Bury St Edmunds arts venues announce management merger trial


- Credit: citizenside.com

Plans to merge the running of two of the region’s leading arts venues will be put into place next month in a bid to minimise costs and improve efficiency.

Last year, proposals for a single management of the Theatre Royal and The Apex in Bury St Edmunds were shelved amid fears that the two venues could lose their structural independence and distinctive characters.

But earlier this year, the Theatre Royal discovered it was to lose 8% of its income after it missed out on the latest round of Arts Council grants.

This afternoon, it was announced that a shared senior management team has now been appointed for a six month trial period, consisting of the Theatre Royal’s director Karen Simpson and general manager Adrian Grady along with Nick Wells, head of programming at the Apex and director of the Bury St Edmunds Festival.

The trial is intended to give both organisations a chance to discover where savings can be made and how any gains can be invested into developing the range of drama, music and entertainment on offer.

A joint spokesperson for the Theatre Royal and The Apex said: “Over the last year we have worked to promote each other’s events, and to develop a network comprising many of the arts organisations in Bury St Edmunds – both of these are ongoing, and present exciting opportunities to develop the cultural offer in the region.

“The next six months is about looking at how we can deliver more cost reductions and efficiencies, and generate new income by growing the audience for both venues.”

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