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Deadline looms for Taunton community groups Brewhouse Theatre bid
COMMUNITY groups hoping to take over the running of the Brewhouse Theatre have been given a deadline to submit their final plans.
Administrators and Taunton Deane Council have been thrashing out the last part of the deal to take over the 61-year lease of the building.
But, this week, it emerged community groups have until September 23 to lodge their business plans to bring the cultural heartbeat back to Taunton.
The County Gazette understands Taunton Theatre Association is the only bidder in the process but director Val Hammond said they are taking nothing for granted.
She said: “We still have a lot of work to do and we are crystallising everything so it is perfect when we submit it to the administrators.
“We realise what we have been asked to do and we will provide it.
“We are receiving a lot of support and we see no value in rushing to get these plans in as soon as possible – we will use the time we have for reflection and to make sure what we submit before the deadline includes everything we have been asked to do.”
Once the deadline has passed, The Brewhouse Steering Group, made up of senior council staff, councillors, the consultants and Taunton Cultural Consortium, will assess the initial plans and the consultants will then help develop these to a final stage.
The steering group are looking for plans to show that a revived Brewhouse can be financially sustainable, inclusive to families, amateur productions and professionals, a quality programme and part of Taunton’s cultural scene.
Cllr Norman Cavill, who chairs the steering group, said: “We are making good progress in bringing The Brewhouse back to life.
“While the council has no intention of running the theatre, significant funds have been committed to it and we needto ensure a new operator is able to build a robust and sustainable cultural asset for Taunton Deane.
“We will support whichever operator is eventually chosen to put together a business plan that sets out a viable future for the theatre and that reassures our councillors and community that Taunton Deane’s principal cultural asset is in safe hands.”
* OFFICALS are investigating after a member of the public said lit-up panels on the outside of the Brewhouse Theatre are a ‘waste of electricity’.
Administrators BDO said lights are kept on at the building for security purposes.
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