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Lichfield Council questioned over Garrick Theatre funding

March 16, 2017 9:42 PM
By Paul Ray

Garrick Theatre - 1The Garrick Theatre is an asset for our local community but is supported by a large amount of funding from Lichfield District Council (approx £350k in 2016/17). This is at a time when the council is under considerable financial pressure and is reducing support for other community activities. We want to see this funding reduce and pressure being put on The Garrick's management to secure other sources of funding.
Cllr Paul Ray has now raised this issue at full District Council and separately with Conservative councillors who are responsible for Garrick funding. Cllr Ray said: "I am convinced that The Garrick can do more to attract grant funding and commercial revenue, and so reduce its reliance on your Council Tax. The Watermill Theatre in Newbury is roughly comparable in size, and receives £540k in grants from non-council sources, mainly from the Arts Council, compared to £17k at The Garrick. Also, The Garrick does not yet employ a dedicated fundraising manager. There must be renewed efforts to fill this role, which would be an investment leading to external funding being raised." Lib Dems believe the Council and The Garrick need to do more to promote the "conference economy" in Lichfield. Most businesses have conferences / away-days and, with great rail and road connections, Lichfield is well located for these. The Garrick could be an ideal venue. More needs to be done on this issue, and your local Lib Dems will continue to put pressure on The Garrick and the Conservatives on Lichfield District Council.