Theatre worth �6m to economy - report

AN end of year report by an Ipswich theatre has claimed the venue is worth nearly �6.5million to the town's economy, it can be revealed today.

AN end of year report by an Ipswich theatre has claimed the venue is worth nearly �6.5million to the town's economy, it can be revealed today.

The recently published annual review by the New Wolsey Theatre said the total economic benefit created by the theatre stands at �6,254,528 for the year ending on March 31, 2008.

The figure was reached using a formula adopted by the Arts Council England and includes factors such as purchases from suppliers and staff wages.

The report also said the venue had 83,279 attendances in the same period with each spending and average of �4.20 over and above the ticket price.

It found that the 2008 Pulse Fringe festival was the “most successful and ambitious to date”.

The report added: “With 36 productions in six venues, (Pulse 08) included a wider than ever range of art forms from visual arts to new writing, from jazz to dance, from stand-up comedy to gay theatre.

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“Overall it achieved an average occupancy level of 70 per cent, unprecedented in the history of the Pulse Festival.”

The theatre also enjoyed 98pc occupancy for its 2007/08 rock and roll pantomime, Beauty and the Beast.

The report said: “It was rapturously received and sold more than 29,500 tickets, more than any other show in the New Wolsey's history.”

Other well attended shows included musician Roberto Fonseca who attracted an audience of 389 - 97pc theatre occupancy - and jazz musician Courtney Pine who sold out the 400-seat venue.

Among the lower attended shows were Space 50 which attracted an audience of 86 - 22pc theatre occupancy - and comedy show Mek Mi Laugh, which attracted an audience of 159 - 40pc occupancy.

Theatre bosses have appointed a new associate director and have announced they will appoint an access officer for the venue, the report said.

Did you enjoy a special performance at the New Wolsey in 2008? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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