Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

Haymarket Theatre stages revival with business plan from Newby Castleman

A beloved Leicester theatre which had closed for more than a decade is now enjoying a revival, thanks in part to a unique and ambitious business strategy from local accountants Newby Castleman.

The Haymarket Theatre, which closed in 2007, reopened earlier this year following a £3.6 million refurbishment. It is seeing high interest in the many varied events and performances it has scheduled, including eSports tournaments, musicals, a beer festival and live bands. 

The theatre’s consortium of backers believe they would not have been able to gain the crucial support of Leicester City Council and other partners without the detailed financial plan provided in conjunction with John Griffin, Partner at Newby Castleman, and his team.

Jed Spittle, Financial Director of the Haymarket Consortium, said:

“With the help of Newby Castleman and John’s enthusiasm, we were encouraged to know this project was possible.

“We knew the Haymarket Theatre had to return, as there’s so much love for it in Leicester, but for that to happen we had to show we were serious contenders, and had detailed forecasts for how it could succeed. The business plan we put together with Newby Castleman was essential for it to work.”

The consortium, which is made up of local business people and figures from Leicester’s arts scene, leases the premises from the council while arranging events and shows there. A major part of the consortium’s plans is a partnership with leading Leicester-based eSports company ESL, which broadcasts live gaming tournaments to fans around the globe.

The Haymarket Consortium members are Jed Spittle, Chris Knight, John Jenkins, Natalie Cheary and Ellyn Phillips.

The debut eSports event at the Haymarket Theatre in April was a huge success, reaching maximum capacity (with more than a third of ticket buyers coming from London) and broadcast to an international audience of 100,000, via the venue’s embedded technology.

Tickets for the next eSports event at the Haymarket Theatre, in which 20 of Europe’s best teams will compete for a share of $100,000, are available now, as are tickets for performances of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Swan Lake, Madame Butterfly and the Bardi Orchestra’s Young Musician Concert 2018. 

John Griffin said, “We recognised the consortium’s passion and commitment to resurrecting the Haymarket Theatre, which was already such a beloved and well-recognised piece of Leicester’s cultural history.

“We also saw the economic impact a multi-disciplinary performance space would have in this area, and put a business case together based on that, which was presented to the council and to the Mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, and we’re delighted that it’s been such a success.”

Newby Castleman has also been involved in other recent successful Leicester redevelopments, including the project to renovate the previously derelict Braunstone Hall. The former school has been transformed into Winstanley House, a successful restaurant, hotel and events venue for which John Griffin provided tax planning and advice on business structure.

Newby Castleman is one of the Midlands’ leading independent accountancy firms, with offices in Leicester and Loughborough. It offers a range of specialist financial services, business and tax advice for individuals and businesses. For further information, telephone the Leicester office on 0116 254 9262, the Loughborough office on 01509 263500 or visit the website at

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