Millennium Forum thrives in first decade

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Derry’s city centre plays host to a vibrant rts and etertainment hub in the Millennium Forum.

Built almost ten years ago, the venue has fast developed a reputation for featuring the very best that the city can offer in terms of Arts and Entertainment. Since the Forum opened in 2001, it has welcomed almost 3 million people through its doors. A recent Economic Impact Study illustrated that it has also seen a huge increase of 123% of turnover in its nine years of operation from £1,347,334 in 2001 to £3,005,926 by March 2010.

In addition, the Millennium Forum can demonstrate that it provides significant value for money; the study shows that for every £1 of Derry City Council funding, the Millennium Forum generated an impressive £23.40 for the local economy.

Chief Executive, David McLaughlin said: “The findings of the study have been noteworthy for us. The Millennium Forum is a thriving business and we have been fortunate to secure the very best in Arts and entertainment in the last nine years. In the light of an extremely severe recession, and with the budget cuts that we have absorbed, we are proud to be able to announce these successes and the future bodes well for our venue.”

A look at the Millennium Forum’s programme until April shows a wide range of high quality productions honouring their ethos of providing ‘something for everyone’. Five times Grammy Award winners, The Blind Boys Of Alabama, known as ‘legends of gospel music’ perform on 2nd February; the breathtaking Chinese State Circus are in from 8th -10th February; there is drama with the multi-award winning story of Alex Higgins in ‘Hurricane’; Jools Holland is back in April – just a few highlights in a jam-packed season of events. The biggest show of the season and, indeed, in the Forum’s history is ‘The Sound Of Music’ and runs from 15th March until 2nd April . Mr. McLaughlin commented:

“It’s a coup for us to be able to bring a show of this calibre to the city. This is truly a case of having the West End on our doorstep; it’s a huge production featuring the very best that the West End can offer in terms of size, production quality and sheer talent – it’s very exciting for us. The show stars Jason Donovan as Captain von Trapp and – just recently announced – Emmerdale’s Verity Rushworth as Maria. It is fitting to be able to bring this show to our venue as we approach our tenth birthday.”

On the subject of the tenth birthday and who might perform at it, Mr. McLaughlin remained tight-lipped:

“We will announce it later in the year. All I can say is that it will be a fitting celebration of the achievements of our venue. I would like to pay tribute to all our patrons who continue to support us year on year. We strive to provide a theatre that our city can be proud of and we absolutely couldn’t do it without their support.”

With almost 3 million people through its doors since opening, it would appear that the support of the people is something that the Millennium Forum has successfully achieved. The future looks bright for this busy venue.

To see the full programme of events and book online, see www.millenniumforum.co.uk or call the Box office on 71272774.