Ambassador Theatre Group's Co-founder and Joint CEO, Rosemary Squire OBE, is to have a new performing arts centre named in her family’s honour by her former school.
Work has now started on The SPACe (the Squire Performing Arts Centre) at Nottingham Girls’ High School.
Squire is currently Chair of the ‘Raise the Curtain’ Development Board at the school, alongside its Patron, Dame Stella Rimington, set up to build the state of the art facility.
The Trustees of the Girls Day School Trust are right behind the project and have pledged their support for this multi-million pound build. The school has been tasked with raising £1.5m locally to make it happen.
Squire has been instrumental in setting up a distinguished fundraising board with key players in the Arts. She is leading a comprehensive fundraising programme, including a Donor Tree to raise the necessary funds.
Speaking on site at the launch of The SPACe project, Rosemary said, 'To be recognised by my former school and have this wonderful modern performing arts facility named after my family is a special honour and privilege. My heart is still very much in Nottingham and I have fond memories of my time growing up there and going to the school. It is my childhood home and where my passion for live theatre began. In a city that has faced many challenges the arts are a great unifying force for good with a vibrant local dance, music and theatre scene and high levels of participation and engagement. The key challenge for arts groups has been to find high-quality and affordable space for teaching, rehearsal and performance to raise aspirations and deliver enjoyable audience experiences. We hope that The SPACe will fulfil this need and provide years of fantastic opportunities for young people within the community.'
Sue Gorham, Head of Nottingham Girls’ High School, said, 'As a former pupil of our school, Rosemary is a remarkable woman and role model, and a great ambassador for the arts, growing her theatre business into a global enterprise, and so it is only fitting that we name the centre after her. It has always been the ambition of the school to lead the independent school sector in genuinely sharing resources across the community by fully utilising facilities beyond school hours and developing projects that are led by the community. Over the last few years we have been developing our outreach work and have established genuine partnerships with local schools, arts organisations and community groups. Theatre groups, particularly small, innovative and emerging companies, are struggling to find rehearsal and performance space in the city. Whilst there is some rehearsal space for dance and music in the East Midlands, there is extremely limited provision for performances with no suitable venue for musicians and dancers wishing to perform for small to medium sized audiences. In addition, local schools, particularly at primary level, plus arts groups for children and young people have very little appropriate learning and performance space. We really hope The SPACe will make a difference to the people of Nottingham.'
Squire is the most prominent woman in British theatre of the modern era and last year made history by becoming the first woman to ever win the UK EY Entrepreneur of the Year. She will now go on to represent the UK at the World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in Monaco in June 2015.
She co-founded Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) in 1992 with her husband and business partner, Sir Howard Panter. Since then, ATG has grown to be the world’s number one live-theatre group with over 40 venues in Britain and on Broadway and an internationally recognised award-winning theatre producer with productions worldwide. ATG is also the market leader in theatre ticketing services through ATG Tickets, LOVETheatre and Group Line.