Record audiences part of glowing review for theatres

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Sheffield Theatres this week reported record-breaking audience numbers in 2013.

The Crucible and Lyceum attracted over 439,000 visitors, representing an average of around 8,500 people a week. Some 17% of visitors travelled for over an hour to the venues.

Turnover was £11.1m, with the theatres generating 84% of their own income through ticket sales, commercial activity and fundraising.

The figures are from a year in which Sheffield created eleven of its own productions, five of which were world premiéres, and won Regional Theatre of the Year, a feat it has repeated in 2014.

Details were announced as work nears on a £1.9m refurbishment of the Lyceum.

Sheffield Theatres chief executive Dan Bates said: “Sheffield Theatres’ reputation, nationally and internationally, is exceptional. Like most regional theatres, we have experienced economic challenges over the last 12 months. However, our success has been made possible thanks to the team’s ambition and drive, the outstanding quality of our work and the passionate support of our audiences, our funders and of our business partners and sponsors.”

The Lyceum project, due to start next month, will upgrade some of the theatre’s technical equipment, which is over 20 years old, and improve energy efficiency and reduce long-term operating costs.

A business club launched to support the plans has attracted 21 companies so far.