The organisation running the Brewhouse Theatre in Taunton – which went into administration last year – has been granted charitable status, in a move it says will improve its fundraising abilities.
The news comes as Taunton Theatre Association (TTA) begins a 10-year lease agreed with Taunton Deane Borough Council to run the 350-seat venue and arts centre.
Val Hammond, chair and director of TTA, said the organisation was hoping to raise the annual running costs of £350,000 through donations.
She told The Stage: “Individual donors have said they are waiting for charitable status because then their donations will be worth more, but it also enables us to apply for funds that are only for those with charitable status.”
Hammond added that the venue hoped the announcement would attract national touring companies to the venue.
Difficulties at the theatre date back to April 2009, when then-Brewhouse artistic director Robert Miles – now artistic director of Quay Arts on the Isle of Wight – warned there was a funding black hole at the venue of £250,000. Administrators BDO reported in April 2013 that the theatre left its creditors, including theatre companies and ticket holders for Brewhouse productions, an estimated £500,000 out of pocket.
The theatre is to reopen on April 8 with a 25th anniversary show celebrating leaders of Taunton’s Scout and Guide community.