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‘Investment is needed’ for Brewhouse to thrive

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: June 09, 2014

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BURTON’S Brewhouse Arts Centre requires substantial investment to remain viable in the years to come, a review has found.

East Staffordshire Borough Council, which owns the iconic Union Street building, wants to reduce expenditure on the centre and is hopeful of attracting investment to make it a ‘busy prestigious centre’ by 2020.

The QUAD centre for art, in Derby, which could be in line to take over the running over the Brewhouse, carried out a review of the facility at the request of the authority.

Having been tasked with ‘re-invigorating’ the site while at the same time developing a ‘sustainable business plan to reduce the overall net subsidy the council makes’, QUAD has identified a number of areas for improvement in the hope of bringing in the crowds.

The council is keen for the venue to become more self-sustainable, by increasing income streams, through hosting business events and conferences and bringing in more money at the tills in its cafe and bar, while a greater reliance on volunteers to save council cash has also been suggested.

QUAD believes there is plenty to be encouraged about, citing ‘existing and untapped support within a range of local communities that can be built upon’ but said the Brewhouse required strong leadership and fresh investment to guide it through to a new era.

The bar and cafe, auditorium and studio and activity spaces are all in need of a revamp, the review said.

The report said: “It is important that the council maintains a significant level of input into the governance but the Brewhouse also needs to engage key stakeholders including elected members, the local business community, the arts community and volunteers.

“This arrangement is quite common in other successful organisations (such as QUAD) and will not only contribute to the main strategic activities but also seek to identify opportunities for growth and as well as for longer term sustainability.”

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