Difficult year for North Devon Theatres

Joseph Bulmer

Annual review of North Devon Theatres Trust presented to council today.

COUNCILLORS are this morning (Tuesday) hearing how North Devon Theatres Trust had suffered a deficit of almost �56,000 in the previous financial year yet still brought economic benefits of �14.4 million to the region.

In his annual report to the council executive committee, trust chief executive Alan Giddings said the general economic situation had continued to deteriorate through the fiscal year 2010/11, with North Devon Council having to reduce its financial support by �77,000 and by a further �105,000 in 2011/12.

The North Devon Festival – which the trust has said will not continue next year in its present form – still had an �7.1 positive impact on the area. Attendance was estimated at 82,493, down from 110,606 the previous June, due he said to due to the general economic circumstances and the lack of the Lynton and Lynmouth Music Festival plus Appledore Visual Arts Festival.

Audiences for events at the theatres, including Festival events, were down to about 91,500 on 2010/11 from approximately 110,000 in 2009/10.

But Mr Giddings said despite financial difficulties, the 2010/11 year was characterised by a number of excellent events, shows and education projects.