THE group behind Taunton's Brewhouse Theatre is demanding answers as it looks for a council funding pledge and an improved arts venue.

Arts supporters are angry that plans to redevelop the Brewhouse into a flexible venue with a 750-seat theatre, cinema and 180-seat studio, were put on hold by the newly-formed Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWT) early last year.

And they want to know why a report submitted by Taunton Theatre Association - which reopened the riverside theatre in 2014 following its sudden closure - requesting additional funding has not been discussed by the local authority.

Councillors will discuss a statement submitted by Taunton Theatre Association (TTA) to Tuesday's special full council meeting of Somerset West and Taunton Council.

The TTA statement says: "Ambitious, yet realistic plans commissioned by Taunton Deane Borough Council to redevelop the Brewhouse into a multi-purpose, flexible venue with a 750-seat theatre, dedicated cinema, 180-seat studio theatre, art gallery, library and community studio have been put on hold by SWT.

"The redevelopment, based on a decade of research and feasibility studies, is designed to reinvigorate Taunton's town centre with far-reaching benefits to the region and its people.

"The project, anticipated for the Brewhouse site, could be repurposed to provide a spectacular centrepiece for Firepool."

In April last year, the council asked TTA to request additional funding to sustain its operation over the next five years.

TTA drew up a report, but a funding decision due to be made in October was not forthcoming, the statement claims.

More than 3,000 people signed a petition demonstrating public support for TTA, its plans and to request funding "to enable us (TTA) to continue to deliver our high quality, diverse arts and cultural offer".

TTA chairman Val Hammond presented the petition to the council in October.

TTA is now asking the council to award the funding so the Brewhouse can continue to deliver more than 1,000 live performances a year, as well as films, arts activities and exhibitions.

It is also demanding to know why its report was not debated by full council and wants to hear SWT's "intentions with regards TTA future funding and Brewhouse redevelopment".