UK - The Theatres Trust's Community Theatres conference report was launched yesterday at the annual ABTT Theatre Show, Old Truman Brewery, London. Written by theatre journalist Dominic Cavendish, the report provides valuable case studies on how theatres are harnessing their Community Rights and insights into the future community ownership, financing, and management of local theatres.?

Community Theatres was chaired by Henry Bonsu and took place at the Grade II (*) listed City Varieties Music Hall, Leeds on 24 April 2014.

Mhora Samuel, Theatres Trust director said: "We learnt how cultural well-being is being promoted through the new Community Rights agenda and that communities are taking control, determining priorities and working together to ensure there is a future for our theatres in towns and cities that reflects the diversity of communities across the nation."

The conference opened with the question - what is a community theatre? It then looked at a range of new and existing models for the capital and revenue funding of community theatres, including using commercial assets to generate income, theatres in Garden Cities, and raising community share offers; heard from communities that have used opportunities in the Localism Act of 2011 to plan and develop the future of their local theatres; and looked at a range of exciting and ambitious capital projects that aim to markedly improve facilities to build engagement between theatres and their communities.

The Conference 14 Report takes you through the sessions and presentations from the day and ends with a summary of Dominic Cavendish's own thoughts and conclusions. The Conference Report is sponsored by the Association of British Theatre Technicians. Conference 15 will take place on 23 June 2015.

(Jim Evans)

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