Hackney Empire "dark period" could mean more event opportunities

The ailing Hackney Empire is set to make redundancies and cut performances next January (2010), causing speculation that the space will be freed-up for corporate events.

Hackney Empire "dark period" to mean more event opportunities?
Hackney Empire "dark period" to mean more event opportunities?

The Arts Council told Event that the board that runs the recession-hit east London venue has decided to review its business strategy for the space, which has been losing money year-on-year.

The organisation confirmed that that there will be redundancies to help streamline the business. However, all educational and youth work will continue at the venue.

Recent developments at Hackney Empire include the departure of artistic director and chief executive Simon Thomsett last month.

He was replaced by Claire Middleton as interim chief executive, who reportedly has experience dealing with loss-making venues.

Event is waiting to hear from Hackney Empire over speculation that the downtime will lead to more slots for corporate events at the venue.

The full roster of performances will continue at Hackney Empire until the end of January, when the venue's board will enter a "dark period" of six-to-nine months, during which no theatre programme will exist.

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