Future of Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra being debated by local council
Guildford Borough Council are considering new options for the running of the Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra.
Among the possibilities being considered is allowing the GPO to run itself as a charitable trust. This might also guarantee them a grant initially before they undertake their own fund-raising. There are fears that, unless a new business model is found, the GPO will be forced to stop entirely.
A well known arts business planning consultancy called DCA were asked by the council to review the current position of the GPO; the same company were involved in the development of new entertainment venue G Live, which opened last September.
The GPO is currently equal to about 2% of the council tax income.
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What the council do is program, market and co-ordinate a programme that includes ten concerts a year and they also an additional three or four times in conjunction with other promoters with costs often met by the South East Music Trust. The only staff employed by the council are a general manager and a marketing manager.
In the 2010/11 season the average subsidy per concert was £17,490 and is £46 per ticket. According to their figures the council have concluded that around 2000 to 2500 people attend more than one concert per year. The total attendance of the current season to date is 3,858, down from 4,159 the previous season and 5,994 in 2009/10.
A final decision is expected to be made in the coming months.
What do you think? How do you think the Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra should be run? Should there be room for classical music in Guildford's cultural scene? Let us know your thoughts with a comment.