Corby theatre is a storming success

editorial image

Audience figures for the Core Theatre in Corby Cube are beating all targets.

The theatre, which was opened in 2010, welcomed 34,958 adults and children in the last financial year against a target of 31,000 people.

The figures were revealed as part of a report to Corby councillors that will help them decide how they provide funding to the theatre in the future.

Core data also shows:

- Turnover for 2015/16 of £997,187 compared to a projected £865,000

- An economic impact on the area of £3,194,566

- 7,158 school pupils participated in events at the Core, beating a yearly target of 3,500

- There were 187 volunteers at the theatre last year, exceeding the target of 130

A report written by the council’s principal leisure officer Julie Cardwell will be presented to councillors at next week’s One Corby Policy Committee meeting.

It states: “The quality of the work undertaken at the Core has been recognised regionally and nationally with artists wanting to visit Corby to deliver workshops to local people which has increased opportunities for the community.

“The business model for the Core is dependent on maintaining a mixed economy of ticket income, bar sales, public subsidy, grants and sponsorship.

“The Core does receive other funding from other organisations such as charities and trusts for delivery of projects and initiatives within the theatre such as schools project work, performance workshops as well as development work that have been recognised nationally.”

Corby Council had provided grants worth £350,000 per year but financial belt-tightening meant that in 2011 the authority had to reduce its yearly grant by 15 per cent to £297,500.

The Core, a not-for-profit firm, has attracted grants worth £1,250,000 from the Arts Council since 2009 and future funding of £421,000 has already been agreed to run up to 2018.

Now Corby Council has five funding options to decide between, given its financial shortfall of up to £1.5m over the next two years. These include maintaining funding levels, cutting the amount of grants, handing over the theatre to a management firm or shutting the theatre as an unavoidable last resort.

Officers have recommended that councillors vote in favour of option two, which would see continuation of present levels of grant funding the Core for two years to allow it to consider its own financial constraints in the coming years.

A decision will be made at the meeting in the Cube next Tuesday.