News Release

07 October 2013

Brewhouse acquisition completed

Taunton Deane Borough Council can confirm that it has acquired the remaining lease on The Brewhouse Theatre after reaching agreement with administrators.

This is an important stage in the path to re-opening the theatre but the Council stresses it is not the final stage of the theatre’s revival.

The acquisition means that efforts can be concentrated on making sure that, when the theatre reopens, it will have a real future in years to come.

Leader of the Council, Cllr. John Williams, said:

“I am very pleased we have been able to acquire The Brewhouse as it is such an important part of the county town’s cultural and arts scene and is held dear by very many people. We must also not forget the enormous economic benefits that are derived from a successful Brewhouse Theatre and Arts Centre attracting visitors from far and wide that contributes to Taunton’s economy.

“It will not reopen immediately as so much work has to be done behind the scenes to make sure that it has a sound long-term future. All I can ask is for people to be patient and to support our aspirations for the Brewhouse.”

The Council and independent consultants are working closely with Taunton Theatre Association (TTA) to ensure its proposals to take on The Brewhouse are financially sound and provide the best possible cultural offer for Taunton.

The consultants have already carried out extensive research to test the cultural waters locally, talking to potential operators, those involved in the town’s culture and leisure and Arts Council England.

A number of strong themes emerged:

  • That a revived Brewhouse should be financially sustainable
  • That The Brewhouse should be inclusive, embracing professional and amateur productions, film, shows for children and families and work with schools and colleges
  • That there should be a clear commitment to quality programming
  • That reopening The Brewhouse is not an end in itself – it should be seen as part of Taunton’s cultural scene

The consultants are also keen to ensure that the strong support shown for The Brewhouse should continue to be harnessed and encouraged.

TTA is presenting its plans as prospective operator of the theatre to the Council for a decision in December 2013.  Cllr Norman Cavill, who chairs the steering group, said:

“The acquisition of the theatre shows just how strong our commitment is to the arts in Taunton Deane. We are making good progress in bringing The Brewhouse back to life but must reiterate there is much to do before the doors can open to the public. .

“While the Council has no intention of running the theatre, we are committed  to ensuring that a new operator is able to build a robust and sustainable cultural asset for Taunton Deane”

“We want to ensure there is a viable future for the theatre and reassure our Councillors and community that Taunton Deane’s principal cultural asset is in safe hands.”

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