Buxton Opera House Brings the Community Out in Force to Defend its title of Most Welcoming Theatre in the East Midlands

Buxton Opera House & Pavilion Arts Centre holds the title as the Most Welcoming Theatre in the East Midlands, an award presented (for the second year in a row) by the industry body UK Theatres, after the local community came out in droves to vote for the High Peak theatre once again. 

Buxton Opera House & Pavilion Art Centre was one of more than 200 theatres that took part and one of just twelve regional theatres to win the coveted title. The theatre is supported by a huge amount of local volunteers who give their time as ushers, bar staff, administration support and tour guides.

Emma Oaks, Head of Marketing and Audiences at Buxton Opera House and Pavilion Arts Centre, said: “We are thrilled to be officially recognised as the 'Most Welcoming Theatre in the East Midlands’, and we thank everyone who voted for us. Buxton Opera House has a 113 year long tradition of warmly welcoming people through its doors. This accolade, for the second year in a row, is a wonderful tribute to all the staff and 190 volunteers that have given an unmatched level of customer service. As custodians of one of the most beautiful theatres in the country we are all incredibly proud to work at Buxton Opera House and our contemporary space the Pavilion Arts Centre. We play host to a world class programme of events, but most importantly at the theatre’s heart is a community spirit that makes it all possible.”

Jenny Mather, Buxton Opera House Press & Business Development Officer, said "the awards put the theatre on the national stage and such exposure could only be beneficial for Buxton." She added: “This also got customers involved by encouraging them to think about what the theatre means to them. The theatre is a wonderful example of how a community can join together for the good of everybody. “For us it is all about serving the public and encouraging them to feel at home in their local theatre.”

Frank Matcham’s Buxton Opera House has been described as his most perfect theatre from all of those he designed. It’s not hard to see why from its exquisite mix of Louis XVI and Art Nouveau décor, to its perfect proportions and for its time, ground-braking design and technology. Today, over a hundred years later it remains as not just one of the finest examples of his work, but also as one of the country’s leading receiving theatres presenting over 400 performances per annum together with its contemporary sister venue, the Pavilion Arts Centre.

Julian Bird, Chief Executive of UK Theatre, said: “Theatres play a vital role in communities across the UK, so it has been wonderful to see so many votes cast. This campaign brings together audiences, theatres, performers and producers and gives everyone the opportunity to celebrate their local venue.”

Smooth Radio presenter Paul Phear said: “It is a privilege to team up with UK Theatre once again as we crown the nation’s Most Welcoming Theatre. This Award is even more special because it is the audiences, including our Smooth Radio listeners, who have chosen the winner.”

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