A new scheme has been launched by the Theatrical Management Association (TMA) to help local authorities sustain theatre provisions. TMA will provide advice on reducing costs and boosting income and link up organisations facing similar challenges.
Chief executive of TMA, Julian Bird said: ‘We have started to gather a database of good practice all around the UK and will happily signpost authorities to other organisations facing similar challenges so that they can find out what is working and what isn’t.’
Philip Bernays, TMA council member and chief executive of Newcastle Theatre Royal, revealed that last year savings were made of around £164,000 through communication and collaboration between 10 different organisations. He said: ‘By taking new approaches to procurement, all organisations are making major savings on their insurance costs. We have proved that there are ways of sustaining quality services by working collectively to save money.’
TMA will approach industry bodies for local government to offer their support. Funding has become one of the most pressing issues facing theatres as local authorities face making huge cuts to their budgets.
President of TMA, Rachel Tackley said: ‘We that know Local Authorities are under enormous financial pressure but there is a difference between looking to make management changes that will lead to greater value for investment and making un-strategic cuts that threaten community assets. We applaud Councils such as Coventry and Bristol that are safeguarding arts funding because they understand the value of theatre in their communities, but other authorities are also showing strong leadership by supporting arts organisations through a managed period of change. In other places the sector is coming together to work out new ways of reducing back office costs and increasing earned income.’
For more information visit tmauk.org