Tenure to start from February 2024

The Guildhall Trust is pleased to announce that it is in discussions with Hastings Borough Council to become the new operator of White Rock Theatre from February 2024.

White Rock Theatre is a much-loved venue located on Hastings’ seafront. Home to some of the best live entertainment in East Sussex, it is one of the county’s largest venues with 1066 seats and a standing capacity of over 1800. The venue is a significant cultural asset for Hastings and the wider community, hosting a broad programme of events each year, including live music, comedy, musicals, dance, plays, family shows, talk shows, school performances, festivals, exhibitions, and its famous annual pantomime.

The move is a significant one for The Guildhall Trust, which has developed and grown the Portsmouth Guildhall into a vibrant, multi-faceted cultural asset for the city. The Trust will use its knowledge and experience to develop this new addition to its creative portfolio, while diversifying its operation will bring revenue and sustainability to the Trust, benefitting all the communities it serves.

CEO of The Guildhall Trust, Andy Grays, said: “We are very excited about becoming the new operator for the White Rock. I’d like to thank Hastings Borough Council for entrusting such an important cultural asset to us. We will make both them and the community proud. The venue has tremendous potential, and we aim to explore this potential through programming, community partnerships, schools and creative engagement, and investment in the building. As a charitable trust, we’re a values-led organisation which places community and cultural engagement at the heart of everything we do.”

Lead Councillor for Hastings Borough Council, Andy Batsford, said: “We are delighted that The Guildhall Trust has come forward to work with us on taking the lease of the White Rock Theatre for the future. They have some exciting plans to take the theatre forward and their experience shows they can deliver the vision we have.”

White Rock Theatre will remain open while the change of operators happens. Hastings Council, The Guildhall Trust and outgoing operator Trafalgar Theatres are finalising the details and completing the necessary legal processes, with The Guildhall Trust expected to take official tenure in February 2024.

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