What about existing theatres if you build a new venue?
What do we do with council owned property such as The Brewhouse? Well, we could keep it to support smaller shows as it does now, or the council could sell the building and use the funds towards a new build. Sounds extreme but through a decent feasibility study we could weigh up the options and find out which is best for the town and the finances.
Where will this new building be located?
We believe that the location of the new build is ideally suited on the Firepool site and close enough to the train station and M5 roads going into the town. Additionally, we know that large venue builds only happen where there is an infrastructure to support it so any theatre that seats 1000+ would require a minor upgrade of roads, perhaps a new hotel investment nearby, but the feasibility study will look at these areas in detail.
How does the economics workout?
Raising funds will be a challenge and of course council support is required, but once achieved the venue will need to make money and find regular support. This can be achieved through many means and we have a team of people who know this landscape well. With possible community shares and match funding we can achieve great things. Moreover, the impact on Taunton economically is massive. If 1000 people attend an event and each spend locally £40 per person on food, drink, transport, etc. that would equate to £40,000. Times that by 25 big events each year that would bring £1m into the local economy. Not forgetting other events throughout the year.
Who is involved in this campaign?
This campaign is delivered by Taunton Arts Business Cultural Alliance, with many local people on the board. Chair Andrew Knutt and its board is key in driving this forward and all have the capacity to see this through and take on the building and deliver much that’s required. There will be a range of public meetings in the future and we suggest you signup to our email newsletter or as a member to ensure you stay updated and have your say.