Theatre to star as a ‘cultural hub’

AMBITIOUS plans have been unveiled to establish Swanage’s Mowlem Theatre as a cultural hub for the wider Purbeck area.
The Mowlem Institute Charity has revealed its business plan after commissioning a community consultant in 2020 to help inform and shape a process of change.
More than 1,500 responses were received to the consultation, representing 15 per cent of the Swanage population.
It overwhelmingly identified a desire for The Mowlem Theatre to be more open and welcoming and to develop deeper relationships and links with local schools, music and visual arts partnerships and festivals.
Called Time For Change, the 20-page document tackles subject areas such as the history of the trust, where it is today, organisational change, governance, funding and reimagining the building on Shore Road.
The plan also contains financial projections for the next five years.
It concludes: “The Mowlem is at a crossroads. Never in its history has the trust been in such an excellent position to make the changes necessary to become a thriving cultural hub for Swanage, contributing to the wellbeing of its residents and the economic regeneration of Purbeck.”
Deborah Paige, co-chair of The Mowlem Institute Charity, said: “The board of trustees is committed to involving the local community at every step as we position the Mowlem as not just a cultural hub for the people of Swanage but also as contributing to the continued regeneration of Purbeck.
“We hope through the public release of this business plan; residents and visitors, businesses and other arts organisations, charities and community groups will see our commitment to positive changes.”
In the last two years the board of trustees has been reinvigorated with new appointments to ensure it has the skills needed to deliver the changes identified.
Robin Sutcliffe, chair of the theatre’s Development Sub-Committee, said: “The Mowlem has the potential to be an inspiring multi-purpose community resource – a place where people can learn, enjoy themselves and gather.
“This growth and organisational change will be dependent on increased funding, both public and private.
“We hope that this business plan helps to secure that.”

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