Taunton’s Brewhouse is running a financial deficit and is in danger of closing.

That would be extremely sad for the public and performers who enjoy visiting the theatre.

Audience numbers have actually risen in recent years, attracted by a diverse and innovative programme. But it costs extra money to bring the performances to Taunton that appeal to new audiences.

Some theatres can cover these costs by hosting one-off mass-appeal events, like big comedy nights, but the Brewhouse is hampered by only having a capacity of 352.

Taunton Deane Borough Council provides a generous annual grant of £152,000, and there is also financial support from Somerset County Council, but neither can be expected to write blank cheques with local taxpayer’s money.

After meeting with the Brewhouse management, I have written to the Arts Council and the Secretary of State for Culture. Somerset gets less central arts funding than other counties and extra assistance would help bridge the financial gap.

There are exciting plans for improving Taunton, and a theatre needs to be part of that vision. Ideally we would build a bigger venue rather than be contemplating the closure of the Brewhouse.

In the meantime, everyone can play their part. The Brewhouse has great art exhibitions, a refurbished bar and performances that cater for every taste. Use it or lose it!