WELL done SW&T Council for

deferring the decision to spend millions of pounds on upgrading the Brewhouse theatre

, allowing more time to consider the feasibility of building a new large, multi-purpose arts and entertainment venue nearby.

For more years than I care to remember, Taunton has desperately needed to replace the outdated Brewhouse.

Now, with land available at Firepool, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a venue that we can be proud of. And one that will serve the needs not just of local residents, but visitors from Somerset and beyond.

Geographically, Taunton is better placed than other rival towns to host large, popular shows and events - the kind that attract thousands of visitors.

We are at the centre of a region where well over half a million people live within 45 minutes of our town centre.

Doing up the Brewhouse would be a complete waste of money. The auditorium is too small and cramped. Its fixed seats make it impossible to use the building flexibly for a wide range of arts and social events. And the acoustics for music (surely, the most popular type of performance) are poor.


Brewhouse revamp 'on hold' during Firepool work

If work were to go ahead revamping the Brewhouse, we can kiss goodbye to the multi-purpose arts venue. There is absolutely no way Taunton could raise the public or private money to pay for both.

And no councils in the future will be able to afford to maintain both buildings.

If we do not build the new venue, we will have wasted yet another opportunity to save Taunton from mediocrity.

Let's not throw away that opportunity by spending any more money on the Brewhouse.


Kingston St Mary