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Future of Guildford's Electric Theatre secured
1:39pm 6th January 2017
(Updated 2:17pm 6th January 2017)
The future of Guildford's Electric Theatre has been secured, with the Academy of Contemporary Music taking over the running of the venue.
The ACM has been chosen following a formal bidding process.
As part of the deal, the Electric Theatre will be run as a performing arts venue with community use.
Lead Councillor for Heritage and the Arts, Cllr Nikki Nelson-Smith, comments: "Following careful consideration of the proposals against set criteria, we are extremely pleased to announce that ACM is to be awarded the lease to run the venue.
"Our main aim throughout this process has been to maintain the theatre as a performing arts venue with community use. Granting the lease to ACM is an excellent solution for securing the future of the venue and we are absolutely delighted to have achieved a positive way forward for the theatre - an important achievement for the working group, the community and everyone involved”.
The new lease will also remove the council's subsidy for the venue - saving the taxpayer and the council money.
Kainne Clements, Executive Chairman of ACM, said: "Having our proposal recognised through the bidding process as the best and most viable option for the theatre means that its future is now safeguarded against any reduction of public subsidy in the area of arts and it can therefore look forward to a more prominent position within Guildford as the ‘go to’ venue for all kinds of community interaction and collaboration.
"We look forward to developing future strategy for theatre, with community at the very heart of it."
Once the lease has been signed, work will begin on setting up the new performing arts venue, with ACM taking over later in the year.
Councillor Nelson-Smith added: "Over the past nine months we have been exploring fully all aspects of the process for an outside organisation to run the venue.
"Following widespread consultation last year, we gathered views from interested organisations and groups on the practical options for operating the theatre in the future as a performing arts venue with community use, with the aim of reducing or removing our current subsidy.
"The proposal from ACM provides longevity for the theatre and secures the venue’s future for the community and residents, while removing our subsidy for the venue.
"We look forward to working closely with ACM over the coming months."
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