Leeds & West Yorkshire

Bailout for Leeds Grand Theatre during fraud probe

Leeds Grand Theatre
Leeds Grand Theatre was built in 1878 and is under council control

A theatre in Leeds at the centre of a fraud investigation is to get £635,000 support from the city council.

Two men and a woman were arrested last summer over allegations of fraud at Leeds Grand Theatre on New Briggate in the city centre.

Leeds City Council said the theatre needed the support if it was to continue to operate.

A report on the theatre's future options is due before the council cabinet on 16 July.

A council spokesman said the money would support the theatre's predicted deficit "and other potential losses arising from the reclaiming of alleged misappropriated funds".

It will be paid from a contingency fund called "earmarked reserves".

A council report said the finances of the company which runs the theatre were of "significant concern".

"The company has no unrestricted reserves to fund its deficit and therefore [the theatre] will require the support of the council to continue to operate," the report said.

Police made three arrests in summer 2013 but it was not until January that the council's corporate governance and audit committee heard of "potentially fraudulent creditor payments" at the theatre.

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