Exeter ‘punches above its weight’ in the performing arts sector , as evidenced by the innovative grass-roots and small- to medium-sized arts organisations resident in the city and the level of funding committed through the Arts Council England’s National Portfolio.
Against this backdrop and the significant population growth anticipated, Exeter City Council – on behalf of the New Entertainment Venue Advisory Group* – commissioned Fourth Street to undertake a thorough assessment of the need for a new entertainment venue in the city.
Despite the city already benefiting from a range of arts venues notably, the Exeter Phoenix, Northcott Theatre, Corn Exchange, the university’s Great Hall, Exeter Cathedral, Barnfield Theatre and Bike Shed Theatre – there remains the question: is there additional demand to support another or enhanced venue?
The study included a detailed market assessment, stakeholder interviews, a review of potential sites across the city and development considerations and drew insight from across the arts sector and case study research.
The final report was presented to the council’s Executive Committee on 16 November 2017 with the recommendations accepted and a resolution to undertake a public consultation exercise in early 2018 to inform the proposals and next steps.
*Northcott theatre, Exeter Phoenix, Exeter Cathedral, Two Moors Festival, Exeter Cultural Partnership, Exeter Business Improvement District, Theatre for Exeter Group, Exeter University, Exeter College and Exeter City Council.