Members of Wellingborough Council met on 20 December to discuss the future management and operation of Wellingborough’s Castle Theatre.
Councillors were asked to consider plans for the medium-term management of the theatre from January 2017 whilst new permanent arrangements are put in place.
Councillors agreed to receive a report in the new year advising on the actions required to produce a cultural/arts strategy which supports a coherent approach to the support of community arts provision across the borough; determine the extent of funding of the arts in the borough and seek a trust, company or organisation to manage and operate the Castle Theatre. An advisory group is to be set up and officers will be engaging with a theatre specialist to produce a brief and tender specification.
Councillor Martin Griffiths, Leader of the Council, said “for a long time the Council has said that it wants the borough of Wellingborough to be a place to be proud of, and the Castle Theatre is a fine demonstration of that. It is now a shining example of what the staff of the theatre and the people of the borough can achieve through sheer willpower in such a short space of time. We are enjoying a brilliant Christmas show, and are proud of our new brochure for a spring programme. Last night at our council meeting we agreed to go out in the new year to find a new operator for the Castle Theatre from 2018 onwards. We have learnt many lessons over the last year and we will be thinking carefully about what we want from our theatre after listening to everyone who has spoken up. We look forward to having a theatre we can be proud of for many years to come.”
The Council would not be able to award the contract until early 2018 because it has to comply with procurement legislation. Until then the Council will continue to run the Castle Theatre.