The Theatres Trust


Community Theatres
28 April 2014
City Varieties Music Hall, Swan Street, Leeds LS1 6LW

Conference 14 looked at what makes a community theatre. As new Community Rights give people more of a say on running their local communities, this year’s conference considered the role local groups increasingly play as providers of theatres and spaces for theatre in their localities, towns and villages.

The conference looked at an inventive range of capital projects and solutions used to secure the future of theatres. These include listing theatres as Assets of Community Value, taking on Community Asset Transfers and raising funds through Community Shares and the Lottery.

Post-conference Update

You can view Contributors’ presentations, resources, press and photos online. Listen to audio recordings on

The Conference 14: Community Theatres Report is available now.

Conference Chair

Henry Bonsu

Conference Reporter

Dominic Cavendish

Opening Address

Peter Stark OBE
Chair, Voluntary Arts Network

Keynote Speech

Stephen Williams MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Session chairs

Gwilym Gibbons, Director, Shetland Arts Development Agency
Ruth Eastwood, CEO, Blackpool Grand Theatre
David Jubb, Artistic Director, Battersea Arts Centre, London


Kully Thiarai, Executive Director, Cast, Doncaster
Kirstie Davis, CEO/Artistic Director, Forest Forge Theatre Company
Louise Lappin-Cook, Director, Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre, Taunton
Gary Trinder, Vice-Chairman and Technical Director, Stockport Plaza Trust
Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair, Arts Council England
John Lewis, CEO, Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation
Ben Greener, Programme Manager Heritage Enterprise, Heritage Lottery Fund
Bill Graham, Chair, Clifton Community Arts Centre, Wellington, nr Telford
Sophie Michelena, Development Manager, Locality
John Caldwell, Chair, The Civic Group, Stourport-on-Severn
Eileen Collier, Chair, Brampton Arts Centre
Alan Williams, Director, Brampton Arts Centre
Kevin Spence, Chairman, Little Theatre Guild
Sheena Wrigley, Chief Executive, West Yorkshire Playhouse
Philip Thomson, Treasurer, Saltburn Community & Arts Association
Deborah Bestwick MBE, Director, Ovalhouse

Community Theatres is produced by The Theatres Trust.
Sponsorship and Events Consultant: Nicky Rowland
Production Manager: Andy Shewan
Conference Website Photos: Ian Grundy and City Varieties Music Hall

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Conference Sponsors

The Theatres Trust

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London WC2H 0QL

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