Everybody counts – Setting the awards stage

In 1991 Graham became joint chair of the charity behind the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick. The theatre had been plagued by financial and planning uncertainties for over a decade. Together with co-chair, Vicky Robinson, he took responsibility for the theatre’s design, construction, funding and management.

For eight years, while juggling full-time business commitments, Graham and Vicky spearheaded an intensive fundraising campaign, raising almost #1m and financially managing a complex construction project. For the first six years they worked with minimal resources and no supporting staff.

The theatre which cost £6.25m, has a 400-seat auditorium and an 80-seat studio, was not only completed on schedule and within budget but also opened with an £80,000 revenue reserve, safeguarding it from the operating deficits that afflict many regional theatres.

After its first twelve months of operation, 75,000 tickets had been sold for performances, a level of success which has exceeded all predictions.

The theatre is having a significant economic impact on the region. Last year it generated £325,000 in additional income for the local economy by attracting new visitors to the area.

Commenting on the Everybody Counts awards scheme, Graham Lamont said: ‘The awards scheme is a wonderful initiative.

‘Not only does it recognise those who are doing good work but also it highlights the opportunities available to charities for help from chartered accountants.’

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