The Brewhouse Theatre and Arts Centre in Taunton is closing its doors today and going into administration while its future is considered. All 20 full time and 35 part-time staff will be made redundant and 21 volunteers will lose their posts.
It says it comes after years of cuts to the charity's public funding. The venue, which seats 352 people, and the gallery, was unable to secure investment from its stakeholders in time to stay open.
In the current harsh economic climate and against a background of long term underfunding for The Brewhouse, the position has become untenable. Even with regular high attendances, such as our final performance of Hull Truck Theatre’s Jane Eyre last night, which sold out weeks ago, the economy of scale no longer works in our favour. _ In short, taking tickets sales and other revenue streams together, The Brewhouse raises about 60% of what it needs to keep going and with inadequate public investment it is impossible to achieve this.
I apologise to all the suppliers, ticket holders and visiting artists that this will affect, the trustees were left with no other option._ Everyone here has been incredibly committed to bringing the arts in all forms to the communities we serve and we are deeply sorry for the position we find ourselves in._ I would like to thank the wonderful team of staff and volunteers including the trustees who have done amazing work for such little reward, the fantastic acts that have performed here and our loyal community who have been so supportive._
As major cuts to the arts are being considered by local authorities across the country to save money, Paul Birch is warning that what has happened to The Brewhouse could happen elsewhere.