Taunton Deane Borough Council steps in to help stricken theatre
Council chiefs have set aside a £187,000 pot to help a theatre forced to close to open its doors as quickly as possible.
Last week, The Brewhouse Theatre in Taunton went into administration following cuts in funding leaving a massive question mark hovering over the future of the site.
Yesterday, Taunton Deane Borough Council announced it had put aside extra cash to help bring the venue back into use without delay. The money will be spent protecting and maintaining the property, on legal fees and for advice from theatre professionals on what type of arts projects could be run from there.
The council's scrutiny committee agreed £35,000 can go into the pot from an under-spend – the figure comes on top of the £152,000 already allocated to the theatre in the coming year's budget.
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For the last seven years the council has given the theatre a yearly grant of £152,000.
Council leader John Williams said it was right to set aside money to help any future project to bring The Brewhouse back into use as fast as possible. He said: "This sum of £35,000 would help to facilitate a sustainable future for the theatre as an important cultural venue."
Councillor Norman Cavill, whose economic development portfolio includes the arts, said: "A huge amount of support and ideas are now coming forward and these need to be assessed properly."
The decision won cross- party support.
Councillor Jefferson Horsley, chairman of the corporate scrutiny committee, said it had been tragic to witness the theatre's closure. He said: "The future of The Brewhouse and the arts is vital to us all."