One Happy Member

Issue 101

Affectionately referred to as the 'West End of the North East' Sunderland Empire has been a beacon entertainment throughout its 117 year history. In more recent years membership of the popular 1907 Corporate Club has grown rapidly. Northern Insight spoke to Louise Bradford, managing director at Creo Comms about the benefits her company enjoys and the importance of the theatre to the local economy.

What attracted you to becoming a member of the 1907 corporate club?

The Empire is just a short walk from our Sunderland office so the corporate club provides the opportunity for us to entertain clients in an amazing venue that is right on our doorstep.

The tickets are also a great opportunity for members of the Creo team to enjoy a brilliant night out, while at the same time supporting our local economy.

What benefits do you receive with membership?

The Empire is a breath-taking venue that attracts world-class shows all year round, so one of the big benefits is that we know there’s the opportunity to host clients at somewhere that is high-quality and a little bit different.

From a staff point of view, it gives us the chance to treat the team to something special, with fantastic seats at shows that they otherwise might not get chance to see.

Has membership been well received by your staff and clients?

It’s proved hugely popular. The hardest part was narrowing down what we wanted to use our allocation for! One of the great things about Sunderland Empire is the variety of shows in its programme. This means it’s easy to find something for everyone and you can cater to a range of interests.

What have been your show highlights so far?

I’d have to say Disney’s Aladdin has been the highlight. Those who attended had a magical time and it was an absolutely spectacular show. On top of that, the hospitality was great, with a variety of complimentary drinks before and during the show and the chance to grab a programme to read after the show.

What are you looking forward to in the remainder of the year?

I’m particularly looking forward to Pretty Woman in June! But, in general we’re looking forward to taking part in more of the events being put on as part of the corporate club and also continuing to provide the opportunity for staff, clients and partners to attend worldclass shows in our brilliant home-city.

Have you engaged with the Empire’s creative learning department?

Sunderland Empire’s creative learning team do amazing work, using the power of theatre for social good and allowing all members of the public the opportunity to experience the benefits it can offer. It’s great that the Trust continues to support this initiative and opens the door for so many local people.

Describe how important the Sunderland Empire is to the local business community?

The theatre is hugely important to the local economy. It attracts over 300,000 visitors every year, it brings in people who then go on to spend money in local shops, bars and restaurants, and may well return to visit another event or attraction in the city. The accumulative effect of that is massive, it helps sustain and create jobs in the city.

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