Harrogate Theatre chief's joy at theatre's league table triumph
Harrogate Theatre's chief executive has been speaking about why he thinks the venue has been rated amongst the best in the whole country.
New league tables based on ticket sales in publicly-funded theatres in England produced by The Stage show Harrogate third top in Yorkshire and at number 26 in England as a whole.
David Bown said: “It’s tremendous news for the theatre and the town. It is testimony to the skill and hard work that has been put in by all the staff, the board of directors and Harrogate Borough Council over the past 10 years.
“But let’s not forget who really put us in the remarkable position- the people of Harrogate and district, who support Harrogate Theatre week in and week out.”
The theatre's chief executive said the results reflected not only all his team’s hard work but also the amazing community support it receives in the town.
And he added that the theatre was threatening to out-perform bigger theatres with far large financial support from the public purse than Harrogate.
Based on figures collated for 2014-15, in Yorkshire terms the league tables show Harrogate Theatre just behind the theatre heavyweights - Sheffield Theatres and the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds.
David Bown says that Harrogate Theatre’s comparative absence of public funding makes its success in actual ticket sales even more extraordinary.
He said: “At the top end of the table Sheffield receives £1.14m more Arts Council funding than Harrogate Theatre while West Yorkshire Playhouse receives £1.76m more.”
Harrogate Theatre which sold 112, 000 tickets in 2014-15 achieving 70% capacity, also prospers on less support than York Theatre Royal which receives £0.5m (or 319% higher), Stephen Joseph which receives £0.5m more (355%) and Hull Truck which gets £0.65m more (465%).
Top of the national league table was the Royal National Theatre.