By Samantha Babb
Theatre continues to thrive following near financial ruin
Hackney Empire has managed to survive its financial crisis since closing its doors in 2009, following support from Griff-Rhys Jones and Sir Alan Sugar that resulted in a huge cash injection of 19 million to rebuild the theatre.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Claire Middleton was drafted in, to deal with the cash crisis in 2009 and remains CEO of Hackney Empire today. Although the theatre remains open, Claire Middleton said: “We’ve taken the deficit down quite a lot, we’ve got a whole profile, but there’s still work to be done.” (Edge online).
An event was held at Hackney Empire on the July 18 for the Annual Chairman’s Drinks hosted by Claire Middleton. David Robins (Chairman) and Rt. Hon Ed Vaisey (Arts Minister) were also there to celebrate 25 years of the Empire.
Local residents said that they missed the Empire during its closure and welcomed new and upcoming shows. Susan Jackson a Hackney resident said: “It is good to know that a theatre that I love so much will remain open.”
Claire Middleton has managed to keep the theatre open by reducing staff and ensuring that the Empire has a Friends Club and an Empire Club to maintain financial stability.
David Robbins (Chairman) said during the Annual Chairman’s Drinks that The Theatre opened its doors in 1909 and looks set to remain open with the support of the public and Claire Middleton’s business model and commitment.