Bricks and mortar
The logo for this year’s Theatres Trust Conference shows bricks and mortar (property) set against gold (income) and that was what the day was about. Not the profit balance for theatre so much as for the property developer and the added value that a theatre brings to the neighbourhood and the community.
In opening the proceedings, Conference Chair Jim Beirne, Chief Executive of Live Theatre, spoke of the way that that Newcastle theatre enterprise had become its own developer, not only bringing benefits to the community by the building of its new theatre but also providing it with an income from associated property development.
However, most of the debate that followed concerned partnership between theatres and commercial property companies and developers for few theatre companies are prepared or in a position to take that kind of commercial risk.
Contributions from other participants, from theatre, commerce and government, explored other models as they looked at the possibilities for partnership between theatre and developer.