Community group 'hope' to take over Taunton's Brewhouse Theatre before Christmas (From Somerset County Gazette)
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Community group 'hope' to take over Taunton's Brewhouse Theatre before Christmas
THE day-to-day running of the Brewhouse Theatre is likely to be handed over to a community group before Christmas, it has emerged.
Taunton Deane Council this week confirmed it has acquired the 61-year lease of the theatre building in Taunton after reaching agreement with administrators BDO.
Council bosses and members from community group Taunton Theatre Association (TTA), who are likely to operate the theatre, are locked in meetings ahead of a final decision in December.
Val Hammond, of TTA, said: “We submitted our outline plan in September and now we have to develop a more detailed plan by working closely with the council and consultants.
“There are still a lot of little hurdles to get through but we are hoping to be running the theatre after the final sign off.”
The group say they hope to open the theatre partially by April with a full schedule of events next summer.
Val added: “The later we get the decision, the more difficult it gets to stick to our April plans because performers are getting booked up - it takes a long time to get a theatre up and running.”
He added: “We must also not forget the enormous economic benefits that are derived from a successful Brewhouse Theatre and Arts Centre attracting visitors from far and wide that contributes to Taunton's economy.
“It will not reopen immediately as so much work has to be done behind the scenes to make sure that it has a sound long-term future. All I can ask is for people to be patient and to support our aspirations for the Brewhouse.”
The theatre closed on February 20 after spiralling debts and Cllr Norman Cavill, who chairs the steering group for the theatre, said even though the council has no intention of running the theatre, they are committed to ensuring a new operator is able to build a 'robust and sustainable cultural' asset for Taunton Deane.
The County Gazette understands the theatre's rescue package to be around £1million.
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