Search

Marina losses cannot be overlooked

PUBLISHED: 09:55 20 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:19 06 July 2010

MR Jacklin (November 13) clearly has the best intentions for the Marina Theatre but is way off the mark if he believes that Waveney District Council does not share his passion.

MR Jacklin (November 13) clearly has the best intentions for the Marina Theatre but is way off the mark if he believes that Waveney District Council does not share his passion.

Waveney is as keen as anyone to provide a long-term sustainable and successful service at the theatre and all options, including alternative ownership, remain on the table.

However, Mr Jacklin and others really need to understand the realities of running such an operation - whether it is in private hands or not.

Although successful in terms of programme, attendances and profile, there is no escaping the fact that the theatre has run over budget for the last five years, with the most recent annual deficit running in to six figures.

Indeed, the shortfall has usually been balanced by moving budgets from other services and leisure areas in to the theatre. This cannot continue and also makes a mockery of Mr Jacklin's unfounded and unreasonable suggestion that theatre profits are somehow siphoned off by the council.

With these losses in mind, budget planning for the theatre is a detailed and thoughtful process aiming to balance available resources with our desire to provide the best programme possible. Therefore, shows that have run at a clear loss are being reduced and those which have proved most popular and financially viable are retained. In these extremely challenging financial times we are determined to ensure that the theatre continues to prosper but that it also meets an approved budget. What privately run business would operate in any other way?

Waveney District Council has invested hugely in the Marina Theatre - it is the “jewel in our crown” and no-one understands the joy and benefits it brings to our communities better than us.

Given the size of Lowestoft, the Marina clearly punches above its weight, and we would ask all readers to come to a show and support a great local facility.

But as panto season approaches, we are not in a position to wave a fairy godmother's magic wand and ignore significant financial losses. We have a responsibility to the theatre's long-term viability to get the balance right and while no-one wants a reduction in the programme, there is a context to these changes that simply cannot be overlooked.

DAVID GALLAGHER

Head of partnerships and procurement

Waveney District Council


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Lowestoft Journal. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Lowestoft Journal