A proposal is being investigated to set up a trust to run the apex and the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds through a single management team.
The trust would retain the unique identity of both venues, but make significant efficiency savings through a single management team, shared box office and marketing.
The results of the review have been the basis of discussion between St Edmundsbury Borough Council, (which owns the new apex venue), and the board of trustees of the Theatre Royal.
The Theatre Royal board agreed the proposal to share management in principle on 9 July. St Edmundsbury’s Cabinet will make consider the proposal at its meeting on 25 July. If approved, work on the detailed business plan will take place over the summer, and form the basis of a final decision, to be made in the autumn.
Cllr Sara Mildmay-White, St Edmundsbury Borough Council Cabinet member for Culture and Sport thinks the move could help create place Bury St Edmunds at the heart of the regions cultural map; “The vision for the apex was to provide a first class venue for residents and to attract visitors to the town. We are very pleased with how it has established itself in its first two years and this two year review argues that the way forward is to position Bury St Edmunds as the premier cultural destination in the region.”
For Brian Stewart, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Theatre Royal the business model for closer working, with the Apex is one that makes sense on several areas: “Bury is extremely fortunate to have a fine historic theatre, and an excellent new music and entertainment venue, and this new partnership will mean an even better arts offer for local residents and visitors, and Bury punching above its weight locally, regionally and nationally. The existing apex and Theatre Royal brands will be maintained, but with closer working and realising efficiency gains we can improve the quality of what we can offer, and invest in better box office services, catering, other facilities, technical, and sales and marketing support.’