Leicester

Training ideas for former Leicester Haymarket Theatre

Outside Leicester's disused Haymarket Theatre
Image caption The Haymarket Theatre closed in 2007 after ongoing funding problems

Leicester's disused Haymarket Theatre which closed in 2007 could reopen as a "hub for creative industries".

City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said a charitable trust was interested in the former theatre as a training centre for the performing arts.

The charity has been given three months to put together a business proposal.

Leicester City Council does not own the building, but it does hold a 60-year lease which is costing it £180,000 a year in rent and service costs.

'Creative place'

Sir Peter said the interested charity was "a local company with some senior figures from TV and theatre production behind them".

"It is looking to use it very creatively as a place for training, preparing performing arts and a place for performance itself," he said.

He said the theatre was taken apart when it closed but it was "capable of being put back together, which is going to cost a lot of money".

"But this charitable trust is able to do quite a lot of the work themselves and also has access to other sources of funding," he said.

Sir Peter added: "Doing anything other than a theatre-type activity would require beyond what anybody could invest in it."

In 2011, plans to convert the once-popular Haymarket Theatre into a £6.5m youth centre were abandoned.

The Haymarket closed after ongoing funding problems and was replaced by the £61m Curve arts centre, which opened in November 2008.

Image caption Plans to convert the Haymarket Theatre into a youth centre were axed

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