Theatre Royal and Apex to trial shared management team to explore efficiencies

Karen Simpson
Karen Simpson
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Two entertainment venues in Bury St Edmunds are to trial a shared management team to see how they can cut costs and ‘increase efficiency’.

The Theatre Royal and The Apex will test the initiative for upto six months to see what opportunities there are to work more closely together.

They will retain their identities as separate organisations and bosses say the move is not a repeat of previously axed plans to merge the two venues.

Karen Simpson, director of the Theatre Royal, said: “The interim management project is about finding out how we can work more closely, not about a merger.”

She said the theatre has ‘some big challlenges ahead’ to reduce costs as it will lose its £115,000 Arts Council grant from April. She added: “If we are to create a plan for the most effective ways of moving forward then it is only proper we examine all options.”

Cllr Sarah Stamp, St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s portfolio holder for leisure, culture and heritage, said: “I believe that between us we should take some time to explore our mutual skills and see what benefits might accrue.”

The shared management team will be Karen Simpson, the theatre’s general manager Adrian Grady and Nick Wells, head of programming at The Apex.

The trial starts in January and the results will be considered by councillors and the theatre’s board members.