Fleetwood’s Marine Hall and Thornton Little Theatre are both enjoying one of the busier schedules in recent years.
A report to Wyre Council outlined that this month there have 26 events occurring at the Marine Hall in 26 days – and the same at Thornton Little Theatre.
The report stated: “There were only five days with no events taking
place at Marine Hall in November and only six days with no bookings at
Thornton Little Theatre.”
These events have included children’s shows, tribute act concerts and productions by top amateur groups.
This summer it was revealed that the two theatres had enjoyed improved financial performances – totalling around £50,000 – compared with last year.
The two entertainment venues, both owned and run by Wyre Council, are now bringing in increased revenue, which means the subsidy Wyre is paying for their upkeep has gone down.
Several years ago there were concerns for the future of both venues due to the cost in running them, but the authority says both centres are now on an upturn.
Councillors at the latest meeting of Wyre’s overview and scrutiny committee heard that there were several reasons for the boost in figures, including a change in the way the theatre is hired for shows and the number of wedding events doubling.
A council officer’s report stated: “An analysis of financial performance at the end of the financial year 2018/19 shows that there has been a much better control of expenditure as well as a significant increase in the income generated.
“The target was to achieve the subsidy level for Marine Hall of £251,000 and £118,000 for Thornton Little Theatre (TLT) but performance has been much better than this and the subsidy has reduced to £226,536 for Marine Hall and £93,988 for TLT.”
The improved income has been raised through general lettings as well as an increase in the number of weddings, resulting in increased income from just over £5,000 for wedding bookings in 17/18 to over £10,000 in 18/19, with an associated additional bar spend of over £15,000.
There has also been an increase in commission from catering and ticket sales of more than £12,000.
The report added: “The programme at both theatres has been restructured, with a reduced number of direct engagements of artistes and an increase in the number of promoters hiring the venues or agreeing to split the box office takings with us instead of a guaranteed fee.
“This reduces the risk to the council and ensures that the independent promoters have an incentive to ensure a good audience.
“In addition to this, we now sell marketing packages to the hirers, which has brought in additional income.”