Portsmouth Groundlings Theatre saved from closure after burglary

image copyrightPaul S. Jenkins

A theatre in Portsmouth badly vandalised during a break-in has been saved from closing in two weeks' time after securing council funding.

In September vandals damaged the building and smashed computers at Groundlings Theatre in Kent Street.

Portsmouth City Council has agreed to give the theatre a £15,000 council grant along with a £36,000 loan.

The theatre was the only new addition to an annual list of threatened venues at risk of closure or redevelopment.

'Saved us'

The theatre's owner, Richard Stride said the break-in "put the theatre in an even more financially vulnerable position".

"If we didn't get that grant I can guarantee the theatre would close down in as little as two weeks. It's saved us and given us the ability to carry on as long as we can," he said.

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) the £15,000 grant is repayable to the council if the theatre fails to meet performance requirements.

And the separate £36,000 loan will be held against the building, meaning if the theatre closed down the council would take back that money through sale of the building.

The Grade ll*-listed building is currently closed amid the nationwide lockdown to stem the spread of coronavirus.

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