The Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards have escaped the axe after a group of critics came together to support them as the re-branded Manchester Theatre Awards.
The newspaper announced in July that it was cutting its awards, which have been running since 1981. Nine critics have now set up a new organisation to continue the awards with Lancashire and Cheshire Life magazines as its print partner and BBC Radio Manchester as the broadcasting partner.
Critic Alan Hulme, who founded the awards, said: “From 1981 until recently, the MEN supported the awards with a generosity that clearly could not continue in today’s financial climate.
“It is sad that the MEN decided they had to part company with them but I am very pleased we have found a way forward, so the new Manchester Theatre Awards.com can take over where the old regime left off and showcase the very best of Greater Manchester’s live theatre.”
Producer Cameron Mackintosh commented: “These awards are without doubt the most prestigious outside of London and I am very glad to have been a proud recipient in the past. I would like to take the opportunity of wishing the new organisers increased support and success for this major highlight of the Manchester calendar that is so essential to showcase the city’s vibrant theatre scene.”