The­atre study says city’s need is ur­gent

Central Leader - - News - By Heather McCracken

Plans for a new Queen St the­atre have been bol­stered by an in­de­pen­dent study re­ported to the Auck­land City Coun­cil to­day.

The re­port into the­atre venues urges the coun­cil to progress Q The­atre as quickly as pos­si­ble.

Con­sul­tants Hor­warth HTL say the planned flexi-form the­atre meets the city’s most ur­gent need: “While Q The­atre is not the com­plete so­lu­tion, it will ad­dress many sig­nif­i­cant is­sues and could also be used by Auck­land The­atre Com­pany.”

The coun­cil com­mis­sioned the study in re­sponse to con­cerns over es­ca­lat­ing costs for Q The­atre and dis­agree­ment in the arts sec­tor.

The re­port says a flexi-form venue of be­tween 250 and 450 seats should be the coun­cil’s high­est pri­or­ity.

Au­thors also rec­om­mend de­vel­op­ment of a drama the­atre of up to 600 seats, and a smaller stu­dio the­atre.

And they say the coun­cil should take a closer look at the moth­balled St James The­atre for fu­ture re­de­vel­op­ment.

The re­port says a lack of venues has re­sulted in arts fund­ing be­ing de­nied and tour­ing com­pa­nies choos­ing to go else­where.

Q The­atre is in the fi­nal stages of plan­ning, with an an­nounce­ment on fund­ing from the Lot­ter­ies Com­mis­sion ex­pected later in the year.

The terms of the $6 mil­lion grant are be­ing kept se­cret, but it’s un­der­stood the coun­cil has been asked to pro­vide ex­tra fund­ing.

A con­fi­den­tial item on Q The­atre is also in­cluded in to­day’s meet­ing of the arts, cul­ture and recre­ation com­mit­tee.

Plans bol­stered: An artist’s im­pres­sion of Q The­atre, which has re­ceived a boost in an in­de­pen­dent study.

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