Buxton Opera House wins regional theatre audience award

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Buxton Opera House and the Pavilion Arts Centre have won a top regional award for their hospitality to audiences.

The venues took first place in the East Midlands section of the My Theatre Matters! Most Welcoming Theatre Award 2015, announced on Thursday, October 1.

Nationwide, 256 theatres put themselves forward for consideration, with 12 emerging as the regional winners.

Simon Glinn, chief executive of Buxton Opera House and Pavilion Arts Centre, said: “We are delighted to be recognised as the most welcoming theatre in the East Midlands.

“This is a tribute to the tremendous work of our front-of-house and sales staff—and in particular to the dedication of our team of 190 volunteers who contribute so generously to our customers’ experience.

“We aim to provide a world class service in exceptional venues. The glorious Edwardian opera house and our exciting contemporary arts centre provide a theatre setting to rival the very finest.”

The venues operate as a registered charity, costing over £1million to run every year, and Simon acknowledged an extraordinary level of community support.

He added: “We are very grateful to our loyal audience members, local businesses and partner organisations who voted for us and showed that our theatres matter.”

All the regional winners now go head-to-head for the national award, to be announced in a ceremony at London’s magnificent Guildhall on Sunday, October 18.

The award scheme was set up by trade body UK Theatre, in association with Smooth Radio, as part of a public campaign to support regional performance venues, many of which have been hit hard by funding cuts.

President of UK Theatre Rachel Tackley said: “We have been delighted to see the tremendous level of support for theatres across the UK.

“They play a hugely valuable role in communities and this vote, along with the My Theatre Matters! campaign, provides a platform for the public to tell their stories about how important their local venue is to them.”

Smooth Radio presenter Paul Phear added: “The awards are even more special because it is the audiences, our listeners, who have chosen the winners.”

The full list of nominations for the UK Theatre Awards 2015 is available online at www.uktheatre.org.