Historic Norfolk theatre saved from closure after council steps in
A grade I-listed theatre in Norfolk has been saved from closure after being granted £27,000 in funding by the local council to clear debts.
The funding was granted to St George’s Theatre in Great Yarmouth by the local authority during a meeting on January 10.
According to the theatre’s director, Debbie Thompson, the theatre had £27,000 worth of historic debt, which included bills for electricity and heating, due to “teething problems” following the renovation of the venue, which reopened six years ago.
Thompson told The Stage it would have been “very likely” that the 300-capacity theatre would have had to close had the council not stepped in.
As well as granting the theatre £27,000 to clear its debt, Great Yarmouth Borough Council also increased the theatre’s annual funding from £20,000 to £25,000 for the next two years.
The council may also grant the theatre further funding, pending the result of an Arts Council England bid.
Deputy council leader Carl Smith, who chaired the section of the meeting discussing St George’s Theatre, said the decision would help provide a “fresh start” for the theatre.
He added: “Our hope is that this will help the theatre to move forward. The trust has had some tough times but hopefully it will have a bright future now.
“None of us want to see the theatre close so felt it was important to continue supporting it.”