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Perth Theatre and Concert Hall given a year to boost attendance figures by local council

Perth Theatre. Photo: Richard Murphy Architects, Keith Hunter Perth Theatre. Photo: Richard Murphy Architects, Keith Hunter
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The charity operating Perth Theatre and Concert Hall has been given a year to boost attendance figures at both venues.

Perth and Kinross Council owns the buildings, which reopened in 2017 following a £16.6 million renovation.

The local authority agreed to a 12 month review of Horsecross Arts’ running of the venues during a meeting last month, following concerns about the charity’s financial management.

As reported in local newspaper the Courier, councillors on the authority’s scrutiny committee questioned interim chief executive Mike Griffiths, who will be moving to a new position at the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh in July.

Griffiths said it had been a “challenging but interesting year” and that the theatre “had not had audiences of the size they’d like”.

According to the Courier, Griffiths said Horsecross, which employs around 150 full-time members of staff, was looking at ways of making savings.

A statement from Griffiths said: “Horsecross Arts looks forward to working  with Perth and Kinross Council to address the challenges of running the award-winning Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre against a testing financial background.

“The board and interim chief executive have already introduced a range of savings aimed at securing the long-term future of the organisation. While these, inevitably, will have some impact on the programmes of both the concert hall and the theatre, we are confident that they will continue to be at the forefront of the cultural offer in Perth and Kinross.

“This has been a year of noted achievement for Horsecross Arts, with a combination of popular performances, an expanded community arts programme and improved customer booking processes as well as a spectacular reopening year for Perth Theatre contributing to another successful year for the two venues.”

Council officers will return to the strategic policy and resource committee in April 2020 to discuss future options for the venues.

Designs unveiled for Perth Theatre’s £16.6m revamp

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