At the request of the Department of Economic Development, the Arts Council have considered their position regarding the future of the Gaiety Theatre, the funding they currently provide and how new management of the venue may affect that support.
The Isle of Man Arts Council has always been supportive of amateur performance at the Gaiety Theatre as part of the Council's commitment to encourage people on the Island to enjoy the arts, whether through attendance or participation. It is hoped that any future change of management at the theatre will provide opportunities to continue the amateur funding and evaluation of this would need to be negotiated with any new management organisation as soon as is appropriate.
We also believe that by supporting our local amateur dramatic societies, we help to sustain a very high standard of performance which is universally recognised and provides experiences that lead onto professional opportunities and, for some individuals, international reputation. Removing the amateur hire rate at the Gaiety Theatre would prohibit some of our local societies from performing there and may lead onto a tangible downturn in the standard and variety of programme.
We have asked that the Department of Economic Development keep us informed of arrangements and the progress with the outsourcing process. We are keen to ensure that we can offer our amateur performers support and reassurance where possible.