Tees Active take over the running of Forum Theatre Billingham
and live on Freeview channel 276
Tees Active has taken over the running of the Forum Theatre Billingham, in Queensway, from Riverside Leisure.
Its re-brand includes a modern website, new season brochure and extensive redecoration to the front-of-house and bar areas in a bid to enhance customer experience.
Tees Active has a strong track record of developing and improving services across the borough at other leisure venues including Billingham Forum Leisure Centre, Splash and Tees Barrage International White Water Centre.
Managing director Leon Jones said: “Our aim now is to use the experience and expertise we’ve built up to take the Forum Theatre to a whole new level.
"The theatre is well established as a popular and valued venue at the heart of the local community, and our commitment and investment represent a vote of confidence in its future as a key part of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s cultural offer.
"Our aspiration is to enhance its local, regional and national profile, so that it attracts better quality shows whilst also maximising the theatre’s fantastic space for community events, conferences and meetings.”
Since its takeover, Tees Active has employed 21 people and has invested in training and professional development.
Councillor Steve Nelson, Stockton Borough Council’s cabinet member for health, leisure and culture, added: “It’s great to see the investment and improvements being made by the new Forum Theatre managers, Tees Active.
"The programme is exciting, the website and the building has been refreshed, and the community use of the theatre is increasing.
"The Christmas panto is always popular, but the record ticket sales for this year’s show are a clear indication that the new managers are giving people what they want.”
This year’s pantomime is Jack and the Beanstalk and runs from December 2 to December 31.
There are future plans to engage with national bodies such as Arts Council England, Theatres Trust and UK Theatre to develop the offer at the Grade II listed theatre that was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1967.