TAUNTON Deane Council is making a bid for Taunton's Brewhouse Theatre to safeguard its future as a public arts and performance hub in the county town.

The bid will enable the authority to act as a “safe custodian” for the theatre, which closed when it went into administration in February.

But the council it will not take on running the theatre as it has neither the expertise nor resources to do so.

The bid is being made to the administrators BDO and is subject to approval by full council, a survey and contract.

Council leader Cllr John Williams said: “The borough council’s bid, if accepted, will help us to safeguard the theatre building and contents as an important performing arts centre while a financially sustainable future is sought.

“Our bid reflects our commitment to the future of arts and culture in Taunton.

"As a council we are aware just how important it is for our county town to have a thriving theatre and artistic offer.”

It is possible that other bids for the theatre will be made.

If the administrators decide to sell to another party, the Deane would look at the intended uses to ensure that the venue is protected as a hub for arts and culture.

The council is also appointing a temporary independent adviser to look at potential business models for the venue and help ensure that any organisation, group or individual keen to take on The Brewhouse can make its future financially stable.

A steering group made up of the council’s political group leaders, the arts portfolio holder and shadow portfolio holder and Max Hebditch, chairman of Taunton’s Cultural Consortium, will work with the adviser.

Mr Williams added: “The council has no ambition to be the theatre operator but it is key that we work hard to find a sustainable and successful future for the venue."

A report will be considered by full council next Tuesday, April 9.