ACM secures lease for The Electric Theatre, Guildford

06 Jan 2017

ACM secures lease for The Electric Theatre, Guildford

The Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) is proud to announce its success as winning bidder of the 20 year lease for Guildford’s Electric Theatre.

Securing the future of the venue and pledging to run it on a not-for-profit basis for the people of Guildford, Kainne Clements (Executive Chairman of ACM) announces:

“In addition to our ‘not for profit’ commitment, which is, in fact, how ACM has operated its teaching provision for 21 years here in Guildford, we will work openly and transparently to make visible and reduce the costs of staging an event at The Electric Theatre through the absorption of overheads into our core business, increasing its accessibility for the community as we do so.  It is an honour to be entrusted with the care and future of this much loved part of Guildford’s arts scene, and we are grateful to the local community and Guildford Borough Council for their support throughout the process.”

ACM’s 21-year history and 10,000 strong alumni heritage has made it an important stakeholder in the Guildford community, having generated and invested over £110 million for and into Guildford Borough during this time.  Providing platform for the many talented musicians who have passed through ACM’s doors, including the likes of Ted Dwane of Mumford & Sons and local boy Newton Faulkner, The Electric Theatre has played a big part in the success of the prestigious music college.

Throughout 2016, ACM made known its interest in The Electric Theatre to Guildford Borough Council and the public, communicating its vision for the future of the iconic arts venue. During a public consultation period led by Guildford Borough Council, ACM gained 1,500 signatures of support for their proposal – including an endorsement from Robin Hutchinson MBE (Director and Trustee for The Rose Theatre in Kingston) and Funkadelic’s George Clinton, the Godfather of Funk.

Lead Councillor for Heritage and the Arts, Cllr Nikki Nelson-Smith, comments:

“Following careful consideration of the proposals against set criteria, we are extremely pleased to announce that ACM is to be awarded the lease to run the venue.   Our main aim throughout this process has been to maintain the theatre as a performing arts venue with community use. Granting the lease to the ACM is an excellent solution for securing the future of the venue and we are absolutely delighted to have achieved a positive way forward for the theatre – an important achievement for the working group, the community and everyone involved”.

ACM expects to start work at the venue over the coming months and removing Guildford Borough Council’s subsidy of the facility will absolutely be a prime focus, saving the taxpayer and the Council money.  ACM will then get familiar with the building, its employees and existing customers/community groups, before inviting fresh ideas and projects to the space.

Kainne Clements adds:

“Having our proposal recognised through the bidding process as the best and most viable option for the theatre means that its future is now safeguarded against any reduction of public subsidy in the area of arts and it can therefore look forward to a more prominent position within Guildford as the ‘go to’ venue for all kinds of community interaction and collaboration.  We look forward to developing future strategy for theatre, with community at the very heart of it.”

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