Worthing Theatres and Museum set to leave council control following a transformative five year strategy

Pavilion Theatre

Something really exciting is happening in Worthing; the growing impact and success of the cultural offer from Worthing Theatres & Museum; currently owned by Worthing Borough Council, set the wheels in motion for the venues to be run by an independent body free of council control. As of the 5 March 2019 the council confirmed this future for all four venues.

The dynamic diversity of the programme across Worthing Theatres and Museum resulted in rising incomes, greater footfall figures and profits on the majority of shows.

The team’s courage to take risks and a determined focus on quality across the venues resulted in financial success, ensuring commercial stability and a sustainable future for the venues; ultimately leading to a unanimous decision by local councillors to approve plans for a winning bid to assume control of all current venues within the portfolio.

The winning bid came from the current culture team who while maintaining their current roles set up an independent company in order to bid and lead the organisation into a new future.  The company takes with it all current local employees with an aim to create more jobs in the near future as part of the transition to independence.

The trust will be led by local businessman and entrepreneur Peter Cadwallader, as chair. Cadwallader and the board of trustees were appointed in February ahead of a proposed handover, with the council now formally approving the plans.

The new company will have charitable status, ensuring the theatres and museum will be able to bid for funding from an increased range of streams, and it is also hoped that the change in management will have benefits for the theatre’s and museum’s work in the community.

Cadwallader, said: I am delighted with the decision. I now look forward to bringing together the board and working with the team in the coming months to bring this long-held plan to life.

Amanda O’Reilly, Head of Culture reflected on the monumental transformation stating: This journey has reaffirmed our direction of travel and our mission is clearer than ever; we will continue with bold programming and curation, transform our cultural landscape and above all take our community with us.

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