Taunton’s Brewhouse Theatre has warned its future is at risk, because of financial insecurity surrounding its plans for redevelopment.
Taunton Deane Borough Council and the Taunton Theatre Association, which runs the venue, announced plans in June 2017 for a £20 million expansion, to be completed at its original Coal Orchard site, over five years.
The project was halted by the council, which said it was investigating a site at Firepool as a potential venue, as reported in the County Gazette.
The Brewhouse is seeking funding from Somerset West and Taunton Council to sustain itself while decisions are made about the venue’s future.
The TTA, the charity that runs the Brewhouse, has warned that the uncertainty poses a threat to the continuation of events and performances at the theatre.
A TTA spokesman said: “Somerset West and Taunton Council put this project ‘on hold’, putting at risk the current high-calibre, diverse and plentiful arts programmes that audiences demand and deserve.
“Taunton Theatre Association is issuing a ‘call for support’ and asks the public to join it in seeking additional funding from the council to sustain its artistic programmes until the redevelopment is reactivated or potentially relocated to Firepool.
“Without this support, there is a very real risk that Taunton will lose its town centre theatre.”
Federica Smith-Roberts, councillor for Somerset West and Taunton, said the local authority was working with the TTA, which had been “revising its business plan for the expanded Brewhouse Theatre that would require significant revenue support in addition to the construction costs”.
She added: “SWT is also commissioning a viability study for a multi-use performance venue at Firepool as part of its regeneration delivery proposals. An expert consultant will review the marketplace and report back to council with a recommended way forward.
“We will need to consider the feasibility of both projects when we have all the information to hand.”
She said the council would consider an increase in grant funding to sustain the TTA at the next full council meeting in October.