The Lichfield Garrick is set to be turned into a theatre trust.
The move will eventually see the venue take on charity status – a move which will see it go from being solely funded by Lichfield District Council and allow external money to be sought.
The local authority will continue to own the building and will still provide a revenue grant to support the Garrick.
Councillor Mike Wilcox, leader of Lichfield District Council, explained: “To date the Lichfield Garrick has been wholly owned and run by the council. This has meant that the theatre is solely reliant on the council for support, and its lack of charity status has limited its ability to attract external funding, commercial partners and more.”
“The move to theatre trust status will see the theatre becoming a charity, and will allow it to seek funding from external sources, which is the way most large and successful theatres operate.
“It will also mean the Lichfield Garrick can bring in more external expertise from the worlds of commerce, arts and theatre through the creation of a trust board. The current management team will also be freer to be more entrepreneurial in their approach.”
Adrian Jackson, artistic & executive director of the Lichfield Garrick, added: “Moving to a theatre trust status is a really exciting prospect.
“It will mean we can operate like prominent theatres across the country, attract the funding we need to push the Lichfield Garrick forward, and support the creation of arts in a way that opens up even more opportunities to local people.
“One of the objectives of the trust is to also provide more educational opportunities to local children and young people, and the move will see the team extending its work with local schools, colleges and universities.”
A new shadow board has been set up to run the board and will include:
- Richard Barnes
- Cllr Mike Wilcox
- Craig Tracey
- Paul Richards
- Peter Tomlinson LT
- Cllr Val Richards
- David Roden
- Reeta Stokes
- James Leavesley LT
- Malcolm Flanagan CBE
- Roger Kerry
- Adrian Jackson
Mr Jackson continued: “Becoming a theatre trust is a complex piece of work. It involves setting up a charity and carrying out all the work to make sure the existing operations and staff are supported through the process.
“While we are working hard on the plans, we have not set a firm date for when we will become a trust. We are being assisted in this work by our shadow board of trustees who met at the Lichfield Garrick last week.”