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Long Lease and $5 million Secures Sydney Theatre Company
A ground-breaking lease and multi-million dollar funding arrangement between the NSW Government and the Sydney Theatre Company (STC) will ensure that performing arts practitioners and audiences will enjoy world class productions well into the future.
NSW Minister for the Arts, George Souris, together with STC Chair, David Gonski yesterday (22nd May) signed 45-year leases with the STC for both its Walsh Bay venues.
Minister Souris, on behalf of the NSW Government, also committed $5 million ($500,000 a year for ten years) to support the STC's operation and assist the company as it consolidates operations at both its theatres, at Hickson Road and Wharf 4/5.
Explaining the arrangement, Minister Souris stated "the leases and funding will ensure the vitality of Walsh Bay Arts Precinct by anchoring Australia's premier performing arts organisation there for the next 45 years.
"This represents an important partnership in the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct, which is a significant infrastructure priority for the NSW Government.
"The Sydney Theatre Company will hold both leases, allowing the Company to consolidate and maximise the efficiencies for both venues and grow investment from the private sector.
"NSW is Australia's theatre capital with more than 6.3 million people having attended ticketed performances in 2011. [Source: Arts NSW Theatre Sector Snapshot Live Performance Australia: Ticket attendance and revenue survey 2011]
"This includes more than 1.8 million tickets sold to various forms of theatre performances in NSW in 2011 and the Sydney Theatre Company and Sydney Theatre are central to that reputation".
Minister Souris said the arrangements would benefit other organisations and events located at Walsh Bay and core users of Sydney Theatre such as the Sydney Dance Company, Sydney Writers' Festival and the Sydney Festival.
Sydney Theatre Company Executive Director, Patrick McIntyre, said the new arrangement enables STC to plan with confidence for the long-term as the Company approaches its 30 year anniversary at Walsh Bay.
McIntyre added "the Company is proud of its history in the precinct and looks forward to working with the State Government and our artistic organisation peers into the future.
"I would particularly like to thank Mr Souris for his support and encouragement and for the Government's understanding that this burgeoning, thriving arts precinct at Walsh Bay can play a critical role in Sydney's social and economic development."
STC was a foundation tenant of the refurbished wharf building, a former working pier, kick-starting the reinvigoration of the old Walsh Bay maritime precinct and putting it on the path towards becoming one of the country's most exciting cultural hubs.
STC's home base at The Wharf houses two theatres (Wharf 1 and Wharf 2), STC's sets, props and costume workshops, rehearsal rooms, archive, restaurant and offices. The state-of-the-art 900 seat Sydney Theatre was opened in 2004 on the nearby site of the old Bond Stores.
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