In response to our Have Your Say feature, Peter Doran, Artistic and
Executive Director at The Torch Theatre, shares his views on how Pembrokeshire
can attract more inward investment.
In Pembrokeshire we are out on a limb; to attract businesses or skilled individuals such as Doctors, Architects or Engineers, we need to make the offer as attractive as possible. We have a stunning coastline but businesses are drawn to vibrant, exciting towns with good schools and good health care provision but also a good quality of life and therefore, importantly it needs to use the arts, culture and heritage as a catalyst to make the region more attractive to work, live and visit.
Research by the National Lottery Heritage fund suggests that culture and heritage are central to a strong sense of identity and place; tapping into that distinctiveness can provide a significant boost not just to tourism but also to broader local economic prosperity and all the resulting jobs that will provide.
There is simply no arguing with the fact that those who live in an artistically rich county, where culture is celebrated, is generally an attractive county. The alternative is to be bland and uninteresting and therefore unattractive.
Local Authorities should be responsible for bringing together the different sectors, stakeholders and expertise within their area. They need to be able to take the lead in creating the right environment to encourage business and skills development, resulting in attracting inward investment into the area. Arts and Culture are a key component of that.
If you'd like to have your say on how Pembrokeshire can attract more inward investment, contact [email protected] to get involved.
More About Peter Doran
Peter joined the Torch Theatre company as a founder member in 1977, and initially stayed for three years, appearing in over twenty five productions. Peter then went on to work in rep all over the country as well as making appearances at London’s Young Vic and Regents Park Open Air Theatre.
In addition to his theatre work Peter made over fifty television appearances including spells in Eastenders, Brookside, Casualty and Poirot. Peter eventually moved into directing and worked in several Rep theatres and Drama Schools.
In 1998 Peter returned to his home county to take over as Artistic Director of the Torch. Within a few years he set about a programme of development and expansion, resulting in a £5.4 million refurbishment of the building. He has directed over fifty shows at the Torch including; Neville’s Island, The Woman in Black, Abigail’s Party, Taking Steps, Blue Remembered Hills, Little Shop of Horrors, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Of Mice & Men, Educating Rita, Bedroom Farce, Dead Funny, The Norman Conquests, An Inspector Calls, Accidental Death Of An Anarchist, The Turn of the Screw, One Man, Two Guv’nors, Grav and Brief Encounter.
Peter also directed She Stoops to Conquer and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, two co-productions between the Torch, Mappa Mundi and Theatr Mwldan.
In 2005 Peter won the Theatre Managers Association/UK Theatre, Theatre Director of the Year; in 2016, he won best production for Grav; and in 2017 Best Director for Belonging at the Wales Theatre Awards. In 2006 Peter was made a Fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.