South Gloucester Council has received ACE funding for its ambitious ‘library theatre’ program, to develop Yate Library as a receiving house for family-friendly high quality touring productions, welcoming audiences who are not regular theatregoers in a relaxed and familiar environment.

The Audience Agency has been working with library professionals in the region to develop Audience Development skills, above and beyond their established professional responsibilities. The embracive attitude by which staff are equally committed to opening up the library environment to new visitors, as to introducing their communities to new artforms has been a privilege to support.

Lead Audience Agency consultant, Jacqui Fortnum, is now into the second of a three year initiative, working with South Gloucestershire library professionals to develop skills around approaches to messaging and marketing, identifying target audiences and ensuring that they are reaching genuinely low engaged groups and local audiences who would find it difficult to travel with young children to theatres further away.

The initiative is now at the mid-way point of its first funding cycle and we are proud and excited to see where it could lead the South Gloucestershire community and many others that may follow its lead.