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Community group 'thrilled' to run Taunton's 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
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