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Theatre in the Quarter to run St Mary's Centre in Chester

Theatre company to develop centre as cultural hub

Local member Cllr Bob Rudd, Theatre in the Quarter's Matt Baker and Executive Member for Culture and Economy Cllr Stuart Parker outside St Mary's Centre (Image: David Sejrup)

Plans to create a cultural offer at St Mary’s Centre in Chester have come a step closer today (Tuesday, March 25) as Cheshire West and Chester Council named Theatre in the Quarter as the venue’s new operator.

As part of the authority’s new cultural strategy St Mary’s Centre will form an integral part of creating a new cultural hub in the city – encouraging more community, cultural and voluntary arts organisations to connect and build stronger relationships.

With the aim of creating rolling cultural programmes for audiences by connecting user groups and strengthening the venue’s online presence, Theatre in the Quarter will act as a programme and bookings agent, initially over a two year period with a one year extension option.

Executive member for culture and economy Cllr Stuart Parker, said: “I am delighted to be able to announce Theatre in the Quarter’s appointment today; it really shows the future for Chester’s cultural offer going forward.

“We have so many successful and talented professional and community arts organisations operating within the borough and we need to make sure that they are aware of, and have access to, the variety of spaces that we have available.

“TIQ bring with them specialist knowledge and expertise in arts and culture, existing local community knowledge and relationships the voluntary and community arts sector.

“This expertise will be used to develop a programme which will lead St Mary’s to becoming a recognised venue for cultural activity with a range of talent on offer for audiences.”

St Mary’s Centre is considered part of suite of buildings in Chester that will form a new cultural hub.

Cllrr Bob Rudd, local member for the Garden Quarter, where Theatre in the Quarter began, and Lord Mayor of Chester said: “I am pleased that TIQ has this fantastic opportunity to develop a cultural offer at the St Mary’s Centre.

“The organisation regularly delivers high quality projects and musical theatre performances and is keen to call St Mary’s home. They have good relationships with the current regular users and have working ideas to develop cultural use of the building with these groups.

“This will help shape St Mary’s as a cultural venue for the city, sitting alongside the new theatre, programme managed by a professional cultural organisation and bringing the community together for the benefit of audiences.”

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