An 800-seat theatre in Merseyside is set to transfer from local council management to a commercial operator, as the local authority looks to cut costs.
The Floral Pavilion Theatre and Conference Centre in seaside resort town New Brighton is owned and operated by Wirral Council, however the local authority has warned the current model is “financially unsustainable”.
In 2018/19, the venue received £1.1 million from the council, according to a report presented at a meeting on July 2.
Wirral Council is now seeking a commercial operator to take over the running of the theatre on a long lease, while the council retains ownership.
The report states: “This option represents the greatest opportunity for long-term savings while keeping the theatre open as an attraction in New Brighton and serving residents and visitors to the Wirral.
“A specialist provider, such as a theatre chain or production company, brings with them several potential benefits. A theatre chain, that is in a position to book performers for a number of theatres, is in a better position than a single theatre to obtain a greater share of the income from tickets and book more well-known acts.”
The report adds: “The benefit to the council is that it will be able to achieve a nil subsidy once the long lease transfer is complete. The savings from the transfer of the Floral Pavilion is expected to be an annual revenue saving of £550,000.”
Once submissions from interested parties are received, by the deadline of July 15, these will be evaluated by council officers to select a preferred option before moving into negotiations.