The company operating Cromer Pier and Theatre has been given a £45,000 cash injection by North Norfolk District Council, with the local authority voting to extend an existing management contract by five years.
Openwide Coastal was originally contracted to oversee the programme at the Pavilion Theatre until 31 January 2028, with no financial support due until 2026, however the impact of the pandemic prompted councillors to reconsider.
“Whilst Openwide has competently managed this challenging situation, this is not without significant risks to the business relative to the contract awarded by the council in February 2019,” stated a council report.
“In order to secure its long-term future, it is appropriate for the council to consider how it might work with the company to manage future risks in the operation of the Pavilion Theatre, if not the wider Pier offering.”
Following the decision, the contract has been extended to 2033, meaning “the additional costs/losses incurred by Openwide in supporting the contract over the past two years due to Covid might be recovered.”
Responding to the move, a spokesperson for Openwide commented: “It is likely to take Cromer Pier three to five years to recover from the effects of the pandemic so we are also extremely grateful that North Norfolk District Council has chosen to invest in much-needed improvements to the theatre bar.”