Cambridge City Council operates the Corn Exchange as part of an integrated Arts and Entertainment Division, which also includes the internationally recognized Cambridge Folk Festival. It had been seven years since the City Council had reviewed the theatre-cum-concert hall, and in 2009 Andrew Ormston and Paul Iles were commissioned, via RGA, to carry out at a study to consider the optimum future management, programming and operational arrangements for the Corn Exchange and adjacent Guildhall. The review considered both qualitative and financial factors, and the implications of future change on cultural provision as a whole. The recommendations were adopted by the City Council with the support of all political parties, and helped secure the venue during a time of spending review.
The Corn Exchange in Cambridge is one of the busiest and most important touring venues in the East Anglia. The venue is a striking converted Victorian building (built 1875), with a distinctive façade, and situated in the heart of the City. Its programme since 1986 has included orchestral and rock concerts, musicals, opera, ballet, comedy and children’s shows. It is also used for conferences and a range of other activity and has a capacity of up to 1,462 for all-seated shows and up to 1,849 for shows with a mix of seated and standing. Around 200,000 people attend events at the Corn Exchange every year, and the venue makes an important contribution to Cambridge’s success as a regional centre for employment, retail, leisure and tourism.
The full report was published by Cambridge City Council on their website. Our recommendations for change management were being implemented in 2010 and 2011.