A sad farewell to the Manchester Camerata


Stafford Borough Council has been unsuccessful in a bid which would have kept an orchestra in residency at the town’s Gatehouse Theatre.

Manchester Camerata has been performing at the Gatehouse since 2002 with the local authority successfully securing money from the Arts Council England to fund the project.

But the latest bid for £47,369 each year – to fund a two-year series of classical concerts at the theatre – has been turned down. The project also included educational workshops with schools, young people, and adults with mental health problems.

In recent years, Camerata and The Gatehouse Theatre has attracted world-class artists such as Gábor Takács-Nagy and Nicola Benedetti to Stafford to sell out houses. However, box office income covers only £12k of the necessary income each year and without the Arts Council Funding, the series is not “sustainable financially.”

Councillor Mike Smith said

“The Arts Council has rejected our application this time because ultimately they want the project to be sustainable which, even with full houses, would not be the case.”

Bob Riley, Chief Executive of Manchester Camerata, said:

“We’d like to thank Arts Council England for supporting the series in Stafford over the past 13 years. ”