Centre bidding for most welcoming venue

Stamford Arts Centre. Back, from left, Sophie Burley, Rachel Ward, Nicola Brookes and Karen Palmer and front, Gareth Whitley, Donna Fowler and Anita Fairey
Photo: Lee Hellwing
Stamford Arts Centre. Back, from left, Sophie Burley, Rachel Ward, Nicola Brookes and Karen Palmer and front, Gareth Whitley, Donna Fowler and Anita Fairey Photo: Lee Hellwing
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Staff at Stamford Arts Centre are urging people to vote for them as they bid to be awarded the UK’s most welcoming theatre 2017.

A few years ago the venue in St Mary’s Street was shortlisted in the UK Theatre Awards, run by Smooth Radio, but once again faces stiff competition from much bigger venues with more staff and facilities.

But according to the centre’s audience development manager Gareth Whitley, the theatre gets positive feedback on a daily basis and it now needs those visitors who are happy with the centre to cast their vote.

He said: “The general feedback is that staff are always friendly and we need that to be reflected in votes. The recognition would mean so much to every single team member.”

Jo Dobbs, cultural services audience development manager at the arts centre, said that being shortlisted in the East Midlands category meant a huge amount to staff.

“They were absolutely thrilled,” she said. “It just makes what you do worthwhile. We really appreciate every single vote.”

To ensure a fair and competitive process, the public voting system will be weighted by theatre capacity; the winner will be decided by the number of public votes divided by the number of venue seats.

The vote is live until midday on September 19, and to vote visit: uktheatre.org/vote

The call to cast your vote for the venue comes as Stamford Arts Centre releases its Live Events programme for September to December, accompanied by its Classical programme.

The programmes were posted out to members last week and will be released on Wednesday.

Highlights within the Live Events programme include a double page feature on the Georgian Festival in addition to its own programme, featuring some of the highlight events including Dan Cruickshank’s talk and The Great Georgian Science Show.

Other events the team are excited about in the Autumn season include The Sandman, a contemporary ballet being choreographed by Grantham-based Chantry Dance Company; A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Ballet Cymru; Growth by Paines Plough - a one man show; and Two Ghost Stories by MR James.

Jo said the programme had been designed to offer something for everyone.

The Classical programme, put together by Kate Douglas, runs from October to May and is again designed to offer something to everyone. Jo said people are often surprised by the quality of classical music on offer in a small venue.

Call the box office on 01780 763203 or visit www.stamfordartscentre.com to book any of the events.