Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) has successfully bid to continue operating the Regent Theatre and Victoria Hall in Stoke-on-Trent for the next ten years following a comprehensive tender process. The contract will be awarded by Stoke-On-Trent City Council following a ten day period required under contract law.
Rosemary Squire, ATG’s Joint CEO, said, “We’re delighted with the decision taken today by Stoke-on-Trent City Council to award ATG the management contract for the continued operation of the Regent Theatre and Victoria Hall. The City Centre is currently undergoing a period of growth and regeneration and we are excited to play a part in its future. ATG remains committed to the people and City of Stoke-on-Trent and it’s our continued aim to bring world class productions to these iconic landmark venues, offering unbeatable customer service and the highest quality facilities. We also look forward to developing our close working relationship with the City Council over the coming years.”
Co-founded by Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire in 1992, ATG is the largest owner/operator of theatres in the UK with 39 venues, an internationally recognised theatre producer and a leader in theatre ticketing services through ATG Tickets.
Following a feasibility study in the mid-Nineties, ATG successfully bid to operate both Stoke-on-Trent venues. The Victoria Hall reopened in 1998, followed by The Regent Theatre in 1999.
Since then, ATG has invested more than £3 million in the venues with visitors spending in excess of £3.8 million each year in the City Centre. ATG also provides employment for more than 100 full-time and part-time members of staff across the two venues. The company has engaged with schools, businesses and local communities and tens of thousands of people have been touched by the work of the Creative Learning department. The annual dance festival with over 2000 participants is now firmly established as one of the foremost youth dance events in the UK and the hugely successful Dance Artist in Residence project has introduced high quality dance to thousands of local children. In 2012, Creative Learning also produced the Creative Minds Festival, a major community arts festival supported by the Bertarelli Foundation.
ATG has also been responsible for programming some of the world’s best known productions in Stoke-on-Trent including Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Glyndebourne on Tour, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Woman in Black, Blood Brothers, The Rocky Horror Show, Calendar Girls, West Side Story, Guys and Dolls, Slava’s Snowshow, Legally Blonde the Musical, South Pacific, Spamalot, Rebecca, Grease, Rent, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Cats, The Witches of Eastwick, Beauty and the Beast, Stomp, Starlight Express, Dirty Dancing and most recently 9 to 5 the Musical.
Councillor Mark Meredith, Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for economic development, said: “ATG has a strong track record of bringing high quality productions to Stoke-on-Trent, boosting footfall in the city centre and supporting the local economy.
“As part of our Mandate for Change, we are committed to making our city grow, and we want to ensure that we have a thriving city centre offer, both in the day time and at night. We expect that the new contract will mean that the highest quality productions continue to be brought to the city, and that it will continue to help the city centre thrive to the benefit of visitors and wider city centre businesses.”