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Future Arts Centres Offering Great value for Money!

Arts Centres Delivering Superb Value for Money by Keeping Theatre Affordable


The 2016/17 Future Arts Centres Annual Report shows average  ticket prices in arts centres to be £9 (compared to a £23 national average for arts events).


Future Arts Centres have released their 2016/17 annual report providing a snapshot of the artistic, social and economic impact the arts centre sector is making.


Future Arts Centres (FAC) is a partnership of nine founding UK arts centres which supports a wider network of more than 100 arts centres. The partnership was established in 2013 to champion the achievements of arts centres at local, regional and national level, raise their profile, and support growth, innovation and sustainability in the sector. It’s chaired by Gavin Barlow (CEO / Artistic Director, the Albany) and Annabel Turpin (Chief Executive and Artistic Director, ARC).


Over the past year, the nine founding FAC partners have been working with an additional eight member organisations to pool and analyse their data for the annual report and provide a representative picture of the arts centre sector as a whole.


The findings revealed average ticket prices of £9 at arts centres, less than half the national average of £23.53 for performing arts tickets.


All FAC Partners have a strong track record of presenting and commissioning high quality new work from across art-forms, and of ensuring it reaches large and diverse audiences - not least due to affordable prices. Increasingly arts centres are playing an active role in the creation of new work, achieving artistic excellence whilst at the same time reaching a wide range of audiences in their local communities. Some examples of work during 2016/17 include:


ARC Stockton commissioned disabled writer and director Vici Wreford-Sinnott to stage Butterfly, a new show that tackled the stigma around mental health conditions. Butterfly was part of Cultural Shift , a three year programme of work which aims to challenge commonly held perceptions of disability. Produced by ARC, it went on to tour to 11 UK venues.


Cambridge Junction continues to commission innovative family theatre for Christmas. In 2016 New International Encounter’s (NIE’s) Beauty and the Beast was co-commissioned with Bristol’s Tobacco Factory Theatres.


Stratford Circus Arts Centre co-produced an all-black production of Hamlet with Black Theatre Live and

Watford Palace Theatre. Directed by acclaimed actor Jeffery Kissoon, the production toured the UK following a development period at SCAC.


The Albany commissioned Tomorrow I Was Always a Lion from international company Belarus Free Theatre. It won widespread critical acclaimed including four star reviews in the national press.


The 17 arts centres which took part in the survey for this report hosted a combined total of more than 29,000 events, including 4,740 live events and 14,500 film screenings, reaching audiences in excess of

1.6 million. Participation exceeded 376,000 people.


The turnover figures at contributing venues ranged from £70k to £6.5m, showing that arts centres of all scales are able to remain affordable for audiences whilst operating as thriving businesses within their communities. Their estimated combined economic activity was valued at £73m. With average Arts Council investment of £457,000 per venue, and local authority investment of £140,000 per venue, arts centres are generating an average of 63% of turnover from diverse streams of earned income and fundraising activity.


They’re also engaging harder to reach audiences successfully through relationships with their local communities, with diversity embedded in all aspects of their work from artistic programmes to staff employed. When analysed against analysis tool Audience Spectrum, FAC partners were engaging an average of 21% of their audiences from the four categories deemed least likely to engage in the arts, compared to the average of 14% for arts organisations across the English regions.


For a full copy of the annual report visit