charters part two
1970-1989 page 13
As you will have read, the school had already begun an extensive, and much-needed, long-term investment programme in expanding and improving its facilities whilst, at the same time, it faced the almost inevitable prospect of a reduction in income through student support grants. It was also unrealistic to try to increase the fee-paying non-United Kingdom contingent which was currently running at a steady ten percent. Support grants accounted for an overall sixty-eight percent of all fees. There was a crisis looming which was turning into a Catch-22 situation. The simple option would have been to be more discriminating and substantially reduce the nominal roll which was running at three-hundred and thirty. But it was impractical to reduce the teaching staff, both vocational and academic, upon which the reputation of the school now depended.
Redevelopment schemes were either abandoned or put on hold. At the same time it was decided the school could no longer continue to support the Adeline Genée Theatre at current levels. Any reduction would have put the theatre trustees in an impossible position and result in its closure.
The director's prescience regarding government support did eventually come true and many institutions were to face difficulties.
Therefore, crucial decisions had to be considered. The ultimate sacrifice was to be made. After seventy-five years Bush Davies would close its gates. It may be difficult to comprehend, but one of the crucial factors that influenced this decision was to enable the country to restructure and streamline its approach to the concept of publicly supported specialised vocational theatre training programmes within which talent was prerequisite. In that sense we believe Bush Davies was able to continue to influence the future, in a similar way in which it had done during, and immediately after, the Second World War.
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