Troubled West theatre wins employer award
A flagship theatre which fell into administration with the loss of 55 jobs last month, was named Employer of the Year at an awards ceremony held this week.
Taunton's Brewhouse Theatre scooped the accolade at the Exeter College Skills Awards, three weeks after financial difficulties compounded by funding cuts led to the venue's collapse.
The 352-seat venue was nominated for the award on the strength of its relationship with the college and two students undertaking its Technical Theatre Apprenticeship course.
The college's assistant principal, Iain Hatt, who co-ordinated the awards, said that the Brewhouse team had been made aware of its forthcoming accolade some weeks before the theatre was placed into administration.
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He said that he felt it would have been wrong to rescind the award, which was a reflection of the achievements of theatre's staff and the apprentices they guided over a 12 month period.
He said: "They had been such a supportive employer of our apprentices and I felt it would be inappropriate to tell them that they couldn't win. Awards, in many ways, are retrospective."
The college is now making arrangements at other venues for the Brewhouse apprentices to complete their training at.
The Employer of the Year award was one of 18 honours presented to local employers and apprentices and was collected by the Brewhouse's former technical director Amy Spencer and her deputy, Nick Slater.
The winners' list is published online and can be read in full at www.thisisdevon.co.uk/skillsawardwinners.