Arts funding cuts 'to threaten more theatres'

Futurist Theatre, Scarborough The Futurist Theatre in Scarborough is considered at risk due to its prime seafront location

The number of theatres at risk of demolition could grow in the next year due to funding cuts, a report warns.

The Theatres Trust latest "at risk" register highlights 55 buildings facing an uncertain future, with cuts seen as a major area of concern.

Buildings in Wallsend, Derby and Workington are under immediate threat from demolition.

The trust's Rob Dickins said: "We cannot lose our theatre heritage in this way."

Saved

"Our report this year really highlights theatres under threat from imminent demolition and funding cuts," he added.

Mr Dickins expressed concerns that some currently active theatres could end up abandoned and empty, while previously closed buildings are prime targets for demolition and redevelopment.

The latest report also points out how local people are harnessing the power of social networking sites, including Facebook, to save theatres in their areas.

Other arts institutions singled out by the Theatre Buildings At Risk report include the Acorn Arts Centre in Penzance and Crewe's Lyceum.

Bedford's Civic Theatre, meanwhile, is earmarked for closure to be replaced by a council services centre.

The Theatres Trust has also removed some buildings which appeared on last year's list, including Blackpool's Opera House, saved from demolition by extra funding.

But the organisation said it was keeping a close eye on "saved" theatres after reviews of public sector funding were announced.

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