NTGent ceases activities in ARCA from September 2023| 9 October 2022
For NTGent, annual costs for gas and electricity are rising from 125.000 to 400.000 euros a year, according to an average estimate. "On top of we are confronted with the high, unforeseen indexations of wages," says Daan Vander Steene, NTGent's business director. This means an extra cost of 500.000 euros. Less than half of which (160.000 euros) is compensated by the government.
"The impact of the energy crisis is putting increasing pressure on our budgets," says Vander Steene. "The decision to stop our operation in ARCA is a painful one, but there is no other way. In the current circumstances, three venues are no longer feasible for NTGent."
NTGent has been using ARCA since 2000 for its own performances, guest performances and as a rehearsal space. It is the third hall of the city theatre, alongside the Schouwburg on Sint-Baafsplein and Minnemeers where NTGent continues its activities.
Looking for a new future together
In the coming weeks, NTGent will work together with the owner of ARCA, the non-profit organisation Wido, to find a new future for the beloved theatre hall. Within Gents Kunstenoverleg, new partners or tenants for the building are being sought. "The need for a place to rehearse, play and meet is great in the Ghent cultural sector," says Vander Steene.
ARCA also remains part of the feasibility study NTGent is planning. To give the venue a long-term future, major investments need to be made in areas such as ventilation, insulation, stability and wheelchair accessibility. "We are not letting go of ARCA completely," says Vander Steene. "The iconic venue is too close to our hearts for that."