Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 22nd November 2007
Title of Item/Report
Report of Corporate and Social Inclusion Select Committee - Scrutiny Review of Theatre Subsidy
Record of the Decision
Consideration was give to a report that set out the findings and recommendations from the Corporate and Social Inclusion Select Committee's review of Theatre Subsidy. The report examined whether the level of Council subsidy to the Billingham Forum Theatre represented good value for money and made recommendations regarding the provisions to be included in any future contract.

The topic was identified at a meeting of the Scrutiny Liaison Forum in January 2007 and was confirmed by Executive Scrutiny Committee in May 2007. The review was identified as it was felt that there was a need to ensure that the subsidy for the running of the theatre represented value for money and was timely because the future of the Forum building was under review.

Following consideration by Cabinet an action plan would be submitted to the Select Committee setting out how the approved recommendations would be implemented detailing officers responsible for action and timescales.


1 once the issues surrounding the future of the Billingham Forum building have been resolved, following an appropriate procurement process, the Council let a long term contract incorporating the following:

• clarification of the relationship between the chosen contractor, the Council and Tees Active Ltd and specifically the degree of influence the Council would want to have on the management of the forum theatre including guidance on a framework for approval of the theatre programme;

• a requirement in the contract for the chosen contractor to collect customer information and detailed information on attendances to allow greater analysis of audience by socio economic and special interest groups and to inform the theatre's marketing strategy;

• requirement of a strategy for programme and audience development;

2 in advance of a new contract being developed and let, Officers work with the current Contractor to try to extend audience appeal and find ways of more effectively promoting educational productions to school audiences and publicising how the theatre can accommodate audience members with specific access needs.
Reasons for the Decision
In order to ensure value for money and to seek to develop and improve the programme offer at the theatre.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Councillor Mrs Beaumont and Councillor Mrs Womphrey both declared personal, non prejudicial interests in this item as they were Members of Tees Active Board.

Councillor Laing declared a personal, non prejudicial interest in this item as he had a friend employed by Riverside Promotions.

Councillor Nelson declared a personal, non prejudicial interest in this item in view of his connection with Friends of the Forum Theatre.
Details of any Dispensations
Not Applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
No later than Midnight on Friday 30th November 2007.

Date of Publication: 26 November 2007

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