Theatre ticket price rise keeps shows on

THEATRE ticket prices at two venues in Chesterfield are to go up by five per cent.

From August the move will be implemented at the Pomegranate Theatre and Winding Wheel after Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet agreed the rise on March 8.

The increase accommodates the VAT increase introduced in January and helps fund the ongoing running costs of both venues, said the authority.

Cllr Ray Russell, council leader, added: “The Winding Wheel and Pomegranate are very important to the borough and its cultural offer to residents and visitors.

“The increase in ticket prices is modest and ensures the council can continue to operate these first class facilities.”

Cabinet reports revealed the Pomegranate operated at a deficit of £284,204 in 2009-10, the Winding Wheel at £324,629. An Artservice review took place last year to research how the facilities could be more financially sustainable.

Commenting on the ticket increase, Derbyshire Times’ Facebook fan Mo Cummins said: “I would be mortified if we lost our little theatre, so if the cost increase is necessary so be it.”

Average ticket prices for the Pomegranate are “relatively low in comparison to other venues” with one reason behind it being that more than 40 per cent of ticket sales are concessions, said cabinet reports.

Cllr Russell added: “I would invite all residents to have a look at the venues programme and see what we have to offer. I believe we have something in there for everyone.”

Also agreed by cabinet was an average increase of 3-5 per cent on room and equipment hire charges at the Pomegranate, Winding Wheel, assembly rooms and Hasland Village Hall. Private Pomegranate hires will go up by seven or 10 per cent.

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