Community group 'thrilled' to run Taunton's Brewhouse Theatre

This is The West Country: MEMBERS of Taunton Theatre Association, from left, Mark Dawson, Phil Bower, Eddie Gaines, Lynn Carter and Val Hammond. MEMBERS of Taunton Theatre Association, from left, Mark Dawson, Phil Bower, Eddie Gaines, Lynn Carter and Val Hammond.

A COMMUNITY group are jumping for joy after Taunton Deane Council decided to hand them the day-to-day running of the Brewhouse Theatre.

An executive panel of councillors agreed to grant a five-year lease to Taunton Theatre Association (TTA) at a meeting last week.

Members of TTA hope to have the 352-seater venue open by April next year.

Val Hammond, TTA chair and director, said: “We are tremendously thrilled by the decision but we know there is a mountain of work to be done before all the pieces of the plan come together.

“This is a very exciting time and we want to make the Brewhouse Theatre a place for people to come and know that there is something good going on.

“We are especially pleased that a number of performers and performing companies have been in touch to say they want to return to the Brewhouse.

“We want the people in Taunton to be proud of the theatre and to bring other people in so that it also helps our restaurants, shops and everything else.”

The not-for-profit organisation was set up after the sudden closure of the Brewhouse in February, which rocked the county town.

In its online application to run the Brewhouse, TTA says the yearly running costs of the theatre are an estimated £350,000.

It says 400 people have registered an interest in volunteering and it would employ ten to 12 people in a variety of roles, from a chief executive to café staff.

Taunton Deane acquired the 61-year lease of the theatre building in October after reaching agreement with administrators BDO.

Cllr Norman Cavill, who looks after the economic development and arts scene, said there are some finer details of the group’s business plan to resolve but added that this was huge step forward for Taunton’s economy.

He added: “Community groups such as TTA are essential to the well-being of the area and we are most fortunate to have groups like this to make this place so attractive not just to visitors but also the economic benefit to the immediate town.”

This week, TTA received a £25,000 donation from The Mackintosh Foundation towards re-opening the Brewhouse Theatre.

The Mackintosh Foundation, of which Sir Cameron Mackintosh is a trustee, has among its objectives to promote the performing arts of music and drama.

What would you like to see from the Brewhouse Theatre when it re-opens? Let us know by visiting www.somersetcountygazette.co.|uk/news or by tweeting @CountyGazette

Comments (1)

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5:22pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Mi_Coc says...

What a waste of money, this lot are already causing trouble messing organisations and groups who want to book the brew house, I why do they think it best to start by messing people who a at to put on productions around looks like a retired bunch of elitist nimbys!
What a waste of money, this lot are already causing trouble messing organisations and groups who want to book the brew house, I why do they think it best to start by messing people who a at to put on productions around looks like a retired bunch of elitist nimbys! Mi_Coc

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