We were asked to support The Lowry (2008/9) by providing a response to plans by the Royal Opera House to build a new international opera house in Manchester. These plans would have had a significant impact upon The Lowry's future artistic programme . Our recommendations, that The Lowry should remain as a dance house and become the northern home of the Royal Ballet, were accepted by the government and the ROH. This project was undertaken with David Pratley.
For Portsmouth City Council (2010), we were commissioned to write a new Theatre Strategy for the city. This strategic review followed our comprehensive report in 2007 on the music and theatre performance venues in Portsmouth. Portsmouth City Council also asked us to advise on the future of the Guildhall, the 2,200 seat concert hall in the centre of the city, and we were subsequently asked to help the Council to set up the Portsmouth Cultural Trust to manage and operate the building. The Cultural Trust has successfully run the Guildhall since 2011 and is now considering a major redevelopment of the building.
Quartet has recently undertaken an appraisal of The Globe Theatre, Stockton on Tees (2013). This large scale presenting theatre has been left in a derelict state for nearly 20 years, and we have been working closely with the council and with a local property company to secure a commercial operator and to apply for HLF support to redevelop the building. The project has recently secured £4m funding from the HLF Enterprise Scheme.
Stephen and Quartet were commissioned to undertake an organisational and marketing review of Swindon Dance (2012/13). As a result of our work, Swindon Dance now has a comprehensive plan for the future. This commission included a review of the business model and the company's artistic programme, and covered governance, staffing, finance, marketing and communications, audience development and fundraising. An analysis of the company's data of audiences attending performances and dance classes identified key areas for future marketing and audience development. Our commission included the delivery of a new website by Quartet's partner Module Media and a new business plan for the company.
"Working with Quartet on Organisational Development has enabled us to have a really positive review of our organisation and given us the sound stepping stones to move forward to the future"Marie McCluskey MBE, Dance Director, Swindon Dance
For The Mary Rose Trust (2008 - 2010) we were commissioned to write the Audience Development Plan for the successful £21m bid to the HLF for the new museum for the Mary Rose in Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard. We have recently undertaken further work for the Trust, developing detailed action plans for developing under-represented audiences and examining ways to increase the overseas audience for the new museum.
Quartet has been working with Merthyr Tydfil Borough Council to find a new future for Cyfarthfa Castle, the former mansion of the Crawshay family, the ironmasters of Merthyr. It is home to Merthyr Museum & Art Gallery and Merthyr High School. Quartet was commissioned to devise new uses for the School areas, which are being vacated in 2014. Our concept is that Cyfarthfa should become the premier visitor attraction for The Valleys with an extended museum telling the remarkable story of the industrial revolution in Wales. There will be a new Enterprise Centre and the fine Crawshay rooms in the Castle will become available for weddings and events. Quartet has written the business plan showing how these developments will generate revenue to support the project.