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Theatre director issues public support appeal

PUBLISHED: 10:55 08 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:15 08 August 2018

Creative director Debbie Thompson at St George's Theatre in Great Yarmouth launching the new brochure. Photo: TMS Media

Creative director Debbie Thompson at St George's Theatre in Great Yarmouth launching the new brochure. Photo: TMS Media

TMS Media

The creative director of a Great Yarmouth arts venue that is facing financial difficulties has appealed to people to support it by attending shows.

Debbie Thompson, of the St George’s Theatre, made her plea after a Great Yarmouth Borough Council report looked at its financial state.

The report looked at the theatre trust and said it faced financial pressures and was unable to develop commercial income generating activities over the busy summer period.

Mrs Thompson pledged she wanted to keep filling the town centre venue with greats art and entertainment and highlighted its weekly music show and upcoming two day magic festival as way of drawing the crowds.

Mrs Thompson said: “Like many arts organisations St George’s is finding funding difficult, but what we really need is for the people of Great Yarmouth to come out and support their theatre.

“We have a brilliant summer season with a weekly music show that has got rave reviews, some great drama, and a fantastic magic festival just to mention some of the highlights.

“This is a wonderful building and we want to keep filling it with great arts and entertainment.”

The council owns the building and leases it to the trust and provides an annual subsidy, with £20,000 set aside for 2018/19.

In June the council agreed to provide an extra £25,000 grant to the trust to enable it to continue its operations over the summer and to help it consider the findings of a consultants report, which was the basis for a council paper to be properly looked at by the authority’s policy and resources committee in October.

The council paper said: “St George’s Trust continues to face financial pressures and as senior management staff are concentrating on pressing operational matters, strategic projects or programmes of work are yet to be commenced.

“This has meant that commercial income generating activities are unable to be developed over the busy summer period.”

The report also suggested the council help the trust look for external funding to make improvements to the venue.

The magic festival runs is Tuesday, August 21 and Wednesday, August 22. For full details and for information on other shows visit www.stgeorgestheatre.com and 01493 331484.

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