Company running taxpayer subsidised Waterside Theatre makes huge profits rise

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PROFITS at the group managing Aylesbury Waterside Theatre have rocketed by 164 per cent – leading to more calls for the venue’s public subsidy to be slashed.

The Ambassador Theatre Group made £2.3 million in 2009. But after a successful acquisition it made £16.3 million in 2011, through the 39 venues it now operates.

Vale taxpayers subsidise the Waterside by £600,000-a-year.

Coldharbour district councillor Paul Hughes called on officials at AVDC to ‘look to renegotiate the contract and reduce the subsidy’ at the next opportunity in 2014.

The Waterside Theatre opened in October 2010 and officials say it is still too early to confirm how commercially successful it has been.

Chief executive Elizabeth Adlington said: “We are currently not in a position to confirm a full annual financial statement as we have not yet completed a full financial year of trading. However with the ongoing support of the council subsidy, standard for most venues who work in partnership with local authorities, and our loyal audiences our projections for the term of our contract are on target.

“We have faced additional challenges with the current economic climate and in our experience it can take time to establish a new venue which may incur substantial running losses in early years.

“However we are working hard to make the theatre a success and are confident that we are on course to fulfil our business plan as agreed with AVDC during the lifetime of our six year contract having enjoyed some fantastic successes with sell-out performances from a diverse variety of shows including Legally Blonde, Spamalot, the National Theatre’s One Man, Two Guvnors, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Jedward, and comedians such as Jimmy Carr to name a few.”