Ticket sales at the new multi-million-pound Fareham arts and entertainment venue are off to a great start and it has already been dubbed a “huge success”.

At the last full Fareham Borough Council meeting before May's election, leisure chief Councillor Sue Walker (Con, Portchester West) said she was pleased to announce the “incredible success” of selling 3,600 tickets in six weeks.

Trafalgar Theatres, the theatre division of leading global live entertainment company Trafalgar Entertainment, was awarded the contract to operate Fareham Live by Fareham Borough Council in June 2023.

The council’s executive member for leisure and community, Cllr Walker said: “Early ticket sales indicate an incredible success with more than 3,600 tickets sold within the first six weeks since the website was launched.”

She said there are also 5,000 email subscribers along with social media followers that are growing daily. New shows are being released weekly with Trafalgar Theatres working to fill the performance calendar well into 2025.

Cllr Walker said new jobs and appointments are being made at Fareham Live, in Osborn Road and formerly known as Ferneham Hall, in the coming weeks.

She said: “It [Fareham Live] is a huge success already. Trafalgar Theatres are delighted with the amount of ticket sales and revenue that is already coming in.

“And I am really pleased with the efforts being made by everyone to get to that stage.”

Opening night will be on Tuesday, October 1 when leading Australian actor Jason Donovan will be part of a talented cast as the charismatic Frank N Furter in the legendary Rock ‘n’ Roll musical The Rocky Horror Show.

Fareham Live’s pantomime Cinderella will feature Strictly Come Dancing star AJ Pritchard and his Love Island star brother Curtis Pritchard, and the opening season also includes shows from Jimmy Carr, Jane McDonald, Anton du Beke, Adam Kay and Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

At this last full council meeting of his tenure as Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Councillor  Seán Woodward wanted to set the record straight about the cost and funding of Fareham Live, putting to bed any misinformation and providing clarity.

He said: “The rubbish that trots out of some of these social media channels is just crazy.”

Councillor Woodward said the initial project was agreed in 2020 but paused due to the pandemic. In 2022 the overall project budget was set at £16.69m, including building costs, contingencies, consultant’s fees and furniture, fittings and equipment purchases.