DEVELOPING OUR OFFER
Phoenix 2020 will enable us to develop our cultural programme and reach more people, offering them more opportunities to watch, to learn about and – if they wish – make great film and art.
With four cinema screens, Phoenix 2020 we will be able to show a much broader range of films from around the world – everything from the best Hollywood dramas to the rapidly expanding stream of smaller independent releases, foreign films, documentaries and festival programmes.
Elsewhere in the UK, independent cinemas like Phoenix have seen significant audience increases as a result of adding one or two more screen. Our own customers have told us they would attend more often if we could offer them more film choice, and more screenings throughout the day.
Four screens will also enable us to develop our programme to include films which are attractive to a wider range of people, especially Leicester’s more diverse communities. Attendance by people from minority ethnic groups at Phoenix is already over 20%, and we see a huge opportunity to develop this audience and expand our work around annual celebrations such as Black History Month, Pride and the UK Asian Film Festival.
We are proud of our Access Cinema offer which provides regular screenings for people with differing access needs and disabilities. Phoenix 2020 will increase the number of these screenings we are able to provide. We have also established an Access Advisory Group to ensure accessibility is central to the Phoenix 2020 design process.
We will double the size of our existing digital art gallery and position it more visibly at the heart of our venue. This will enable a step change in our artistic programming, giving us new opportunities to bring larger scale world-class artwork to audiences in both Phoenix as well as outdoor spaces across the city.
Expansion will see us develop our education and skills development programmes, helping more people to get deeper into film, filmmaking and digital art. Our long term partnership with De Montfort University has already resulted in one of the UK’s leading centres for film studies education. Our expansion plans will see a number of existing spaces remodelled and refurbished, providing more space for education courses, filmmaking and creative learning classes.
We plan to support more digital artists with residencies, studio access and the resources to create touring work and build closer collaborations with schools and higher education. Similarly, we will support the ambitions of more local filmmakers – with four cinema screens we will be able to offer them valuable opportunities to exhibit their work on the big screen.
Phoenix already generates around £2.6 million spending by visitors into Leicester’s economy, which creates jobs and business for local suppliers in the city and county. The charity employs 85 staff and supports approximately another 38 in the local economy.