News Story

‘Powering Family Adventure’ is the strapline which inspired the 2023 partnership between Chichester Festival Theatre and Harwoods Group, a privately owned automotive retail group based on the south coast of England. As a Platinum Level Partner our relationship encompasses Harwoods’ support of our Relaxed Performances as well as investment in our new, more eco-friendly vans – illustrating the bespoke possibilities such partnerships can engender. Clare Freemantle, Sales & Marketing Director for Harwoods, explains:

‘As a family business, Harwoods Group are delighted to have partnered with CFT to power family adventure across West Sussex and beyond. As sponsors of CFT's Relaxed Performances, we are incredibly proud to have supported greater access to theatre. During our partnership, we've invested in modernising CFT's vehicles, including an electric van to drive forward the Theatre's sustainability ambitions, to help deliver props, costumes and brochures across the region.’

Relaxed performances welcome audience members with and without learning disabilities who benefit from a more relaxed environment. An enthusiastic crowd of all ages attended the Relaxed Performance of The Jungle Book on 29 December (which was also BSL interpreted), with audience reactions including “One million out of 10”, and “A lovely supportive atmosphere”.

‘As a brand, we are passionate about striving towards more a more inclusive society,’ says Clare Freemantle. ‘In sponsoring Relaxed Performances, we are helping to support those most vulnerable in our society by providing access to the Theatre in a way that ensures their comfort.’

As for the new vans – pictured above with our Executive Director, Kathy Bourne – she observes: ‘One of our core values as a brand is our commitment to social responsibility. Partnering with CFT and providing investment towards their electric vehicle and mission to deliver theatre more sustainably has allowed us to translate these values into action and demonstrate our dedication to making a positive impact.’

Clare Freemantle adds, ‘We partnered with CFT to make a positive impact on our local community. In sponsoring the charity, we've been able to give back in a small way and contribute towards making a difference to people who live in the communities in which our business operates.’

Charlotte Stroud, CFT’s Development Manager (Corporate & Trusts), responds: ‘It has been a delight to partner with Harwoods Group on this fully bespoke sponsorship and raise awareness of their business and commitment to the West Sussex community. We are hugely grateful and look forward to continuing to spread the word about our partnership across West Sussex (and beyond) through the Harwoods Group branding on our vans, delivering theatre more sustainably across the region.’

The generosity of our corporate supporters helps us to bring powerful stories to life on stage, inspires audiences across generations, and enables us to transform lives in our community through the work of our Learning, Education and Participation team. From fully bespoke sponsorship packages, to alignment with our shows and community events, or general corporate partnerships with the theatre - find out more about how your business can partner with CFT.