Glasgow Grows Audiences
A marketing consortium for audience development
Marketing consortium launched to regenerate Glasgow’s arts audiences
Glasgow’s cultural scene received a significant boost this week with the launch of a pioneering new arts marketing and audience development consortium – Glasgow Grows Audiences (GGA). Formed from over 30 arts organisations in the city, this three-year investment programme aims to maximise the marketing effectiveness of arts groups with the ultimate collective goal of growing audience numbers.
GGA’s hand-picked board has now been selected and will be overseen by Chairman Roy McEwan, managing director of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Newly-appointed director, Julie Tait, currently commercial director of The Lighthouse: Scotland’s National Centre for Architecture, Design and the City, will drive GGA’s aims through on an operational level. GGA’s action plan will be closely measured against performance targets.
Glasgow’s vibrant cultural scene means that arts venues’ marketing efforts need to work harder than most other UK cities to attract more people, proportionately, from the local population. For example they must attract one person in every 211 in Glasgow compared to one in every 1,130 in Birmingham and one in every 3,000 in Southampton*.
Roy McEwan, Chairman of Glasgow Grows Audiences said:
“The launch of Glasgow Grows Audiences is a fantastic opportunity for the arts in Glasgow and I’m very honoured to be invited to be its first chairman. Support for the creation of GGA amongst the arts community and funders is at such a level that the organisation starts with a tremendous impetus behind it, as well as a very talented and energetic director in Julie Tait. A broadly based board with a wide range of skills and experience is now in place to support Julie and her new team, once recruited, in what is a timely initiative for building on Glasgow’s already rich and energetic arts scene.”
Significant challenges exist in the Glasgow market place, which has seen huge growth in commercial ‘going out’ opportunities, coupled with evidence of the over-provision of cinema screens and expanding concert venues. There is real competition for audiences in every sector of the arts, and drama groups continue to report decreasing audience figures.
Ros Lamont, Head of Audience Development, Scottish Arts Council, said:
"Building new audiences for the arts across Scotland is a key priority for the Scottish Arts Council and we have been working closely with Glasgow City Council for some time to establish an audience development agency. We are delighted that Glasgow Grows Audiences is now on-the-spot to provide high-level marketing support to a range of organisations as we believe this will give the city's audiences much more information about all the exciting cultural opportunities that are happening on their own doorstep."
Arts organisations of all sizes will benefit from the activities of Glasgow Grows Audiences, formerly known by the working title ‘Glasgow Audience Project’, through its focus on market intelligence, research, audience development, collaborative marketing campaigns and support including industry-tailored training, local networking events and continuous professional development.
Such is the enthusiasm of the consortium for developing arts audiences in Glasgow, it has gone from feasibility study to launch in an almost unbelievable six months. Start up funding has been secured from the Scottish Arts Council and Glasgow City Council.
Julie Tait, director of Glasgow Grows Audiences said:
“In Glasgow’s vibrant arts marketing scene, the range of skill levels varies from highly-experienced professionals to newcomers with limited knowledge, often working with limited budgets and scarce resources to achieve growth.
“The consortium will enable Glasgow’s arts organisations to access practical tools to assist them to actively grow and sustain their audiences, long term.
“I’m excited to lead the project, and with support that GGA can offer, look forward to seeing organisations prosper and more people than ever enjoying the fantastic range of cultural activities in the City “
*Research undertaken by ARTS, 1997 - 1998
-ends- 12 May, 2004
A selection of jpeg mages of Julie Tait are available on request.
For further information:
Pamela Bailey, Yvonne Macfarlane or Vicki Greenhill, PR Continuum
Tel: 0141 445 1661
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