Theatre by the Lake this week said a huge ‘thank you' to its most successful Ambassadors who have, through their efforts promoting the much-loved cultural venue, boosted ticket sales and between them alone helped to sell a remarkable 439 tickets in the past year – enough to fill the entire Main House and Studio auditoriums for one performance.
Now in its 12th successful year, the Ambassadors Scheme helps to spread the word that there is top quality, live entertainment to be enjoyed in the extraordinary location of Keswick.
Participating establishments encourage their guests to go to plays in both the Main House and Studio and in return, the theatre offers a discount on tickets for ambassadors' guests. To familiarise themselves with current work, Ambassadors receive two free tickets to all of Theatre by the Lake's own productions as well as a listing on the ‘Places to Stay' section of the theatre's website, regular news updates and supporting marketing material.
Every year since 2013, the theatre has run a friendly contest to reward the highest performing Ambassador in a series of accommodation categories with the winners receiving a certificate and a night out at the theatre with refreshments. The scheme now has over 135 local accommodation providers - from hotels and guest houses to caravan and camping sites – and all work together to promote the theatre's productions to visitors.
The competition's five categories include: Studio Theatre (for places with up to five bedrooms); Main House (six-ten bedrooms); Big Top (11-20 bedrooms); Arena (21+ bedrooms) and Stadium (more than 100 bedrooms/ pitches). This year's winners were:
· In the Studio Theatre category: Abacourt House
· In the Main House category: The Grange Country House, Keswick
· In the Big Top category: Howe Keld Bed & Breakfast
· In the Arena category: Holiday Property Bond
· In the Stadium category: Cumbrian Cottages
Winners of the Studio category, John and Heather Manners from Abacourt House said, "We're very pleased to win the award, and so pleased many of our guests have taken up the offer to enhance their holiday into the evening.”
The Grange Country House owner Sally Lansbury, winner of the Main House category, added, "We love being part of the Ambassador Scheme. It keeps us in close contact with what's going on at Theatre by the Lake and gives us lots to talk about with our guests. The theatre adds something very special to their holidays; we are very lucky to have this special place in Keswick.”
Laura and Jerome Bujard from Howe Keld Bed & Breakfast were similarly delighted, having only joined the scheme a couple of years ago: "We try and promote the scheme as much as we can; the theatre is a great reason to visit Keswick a great way to attract more guests especially as we are within walking distance to the theatre. We also love being able to enjoy shows ourselves!”
The winners of the two largest categories were Holiday Property Bond (the Arena category) and Cumbrian Cottages (the Stadium category). Braithwaite Court Manager, Alison Maddock said, "On behalf of all our Bondholders, I'd like to say a huge thank you to Theatre by the Lake for the Ambassador Scheme; there's no doubt that it encourages our Bondholders to attend the theatre, it's a fantastic benefit for them and most of all for me as the manager here, it's great to know that we're promoting and supporting our fantastic local theatre.”
Nicola Ferguson, the Regional Office Manager from the Keswick branch of Cumbrian Cottages said, "As a company we provide accommodation for a lot of tourists in the area and as such we can then recommend the theatre to them which hopefully brings extra business to both the theatre and restaurant from guests who may not be aware of the excellent programme of events they offer.”
Rachel Swift, Theatre by the Lake's Head of Communications concluded, ‘We're delighted to publicly acknowledge the hard work of our five winners in this way, but we'd also like to take this opportunity to thank all of the other accommodation providers who are part of the scheme; they're all doing a fantastic job promoting the theatre and we are tremendously grateful for their efforts and enthusiasm”.