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The Sage Gateshead unveils vision for the next 10 years

Bosses at the Sage Gateshead are looking beyond next year's 10th anniversary

The Sage Gateshead
The Sage Gateshead

A new vision for the second decade of Sage Gateshead will focus on broadening its appeal to those who don’t visit the landmark building.

General director Anthony Sargent revealed the plan at the music venue’s annual meeting this week.

He said next year’s 10th anniversary celebrations – Sage Gateshead opened to the public on December 17, 2004 – would look back on a successful first decade.

But he said thoughts had already turned to the second decade and the “big vision” that would sustain it.

“Lots of people across the region are proud of the place vicariously but don’t come,” he said. “One of the big projects next year is to create an approach to the 2014-15 season that is about encouraging these people to come.

“We will be telling people, ‘Make this the year you discover Sage Gateshead’ .”

He said: “Times are tough for all of us in this world and we are in the process of revising our business plan. Our shorthand for it is SageGateshead2.0.”

Mr Sargent said Sage already had a £10m endowment which was kept in trust by the Community Foundation but was striving to build up a second, £6m endowment.

A campaign was in place to raise £4m before the summer of 2015 which would release an extra £2m from Arts Council England . Already, he said, £2.3m had been raised.

Mr Sargent said this money would provide sustainable long-term income.

“We’re deeply grateful for the incredibly generous support we have already received from donors at all levels and there are still lots of ways, big and small, that people who value our work can help us reach our target,” he said.

“The quality and wealth of culture in our region is something we can all be incredibly proud of, motivating us to continue working hard to make our work as accessible as possible to our local communities and encouraging them to engage with the amazing arts offer they have on their doorstep.”

The meeting, chaired by Lord Falconer, heard that the year 2012-13 had seen 472 concerts hosted by Sage Gateshead with 275,867 tickets sold. Lord Falconer said: “Like all arts organisations the economic climate out there is cold. It is difficult but we’re facing up to these challenging times.

“You can be assured the next 10 years will be just as inspirational as the last 10 years.”

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