Introducing Royal & Derngate…
Royal & Derngate, Northampton is the main venue for arts and entertainment in Northamptonshire. We are creatively and commercially booming: the past three years have been the theatre’s most successful since reopening in 2006. The most recent year was our busiest yet with audience and participant attendance in Northampton for live performances, creative learning projects and films exceeding 350,000 by the end of 2016/17. Consequently, our local economic impact surpassed £26m for the first time.
Our Change Creation Plan
Within our five year plan we have two major projects in development which over the next two years will fundamentally change our business model, in order to ensure that the core activity remains viable, valued, appropriate and thriving.
We are developing an application to the Department of Education to open a secondary school, a new free school for Northampton that places cultural and creative project-based learning at its core. If successful, this would welcome its first students in September 2020. The school, likely to run by a new charity to be founded by Northampton Theatres Trust and the David Ross Education Trust, directly addresses the decline of arts and cultural education in England.
In summer 2013 we opened the Errol Flynn Filmhouse, a single screen 88-seat cinema showcasing the best in independent films. The new cinema has proven to be such a commercial success that we opened a second screen in April 2017. We are now working towards opening a three-screen cinema in Daventry town centre. All being well, this new cinema could be opened by summer 2019. However, this is not the extent of our ambitions in this area. We have recognised that there is potential to share our expertise and are keen to develop a business case that could see us expanding into other large market towns.
In order to make the most of both the school and cinema projects, while ensuring that our core business continues to thrive, we are undertaking a change management process which will see us enhance the skills of our team, review our capacity and capability to deliver such ambitious projects and devise a new operating model.
Martin is the Chief Executive and has led Royal & Derngate for almost 10 years, overseeing the expansion of the business which now includes a theatre in Corby as well as the Errol Flynn Filmhouse. Prior to Northampton, Martin was the Director of The Corn Exchange Newbury and an independent theatre and comedy producer.
Steve, Chairperson is a Northamptonian and Chartered Accountant. He has held operational and strategic board level positions with Grant Thornton in the UK and its international network. He was previously a trustee of the Royal Theatre and has been involved with a number of other local charities, including chairing the County’s British Olympic Appeal and Sports Aid foundation.