Southampton NST theatre to reopen under new management

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image captionThe NST City theatre will be taken over by The Mayflower Theatre Trust

A theatre is set to reopen after a trust stepped in to take it over.

Nuffield Southampton Theatres, which ran the NST theatre, went into administration and closed its venues in July.

At a meeting, Southampton City Council approved a bid from The Mayflower Theatre Trust to take over the Studio 144 building.

The group said it expected to begin staging its first performances from next spring.

Councillors backed plans for a new 35-year lease and a grant of £511,250, paid over two years, to Mayflower Academy Limited - a company created to operate the theatre since renamed MAST Mayflower Studios.

image captionSatvir Kaur said it was great news for the cultural sector and the city

Cabinet member for Culture councillor Satvir Kaur said it was great news for the cultural sector and the city, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).

She said the Mayflower trust had a "strong track record" in the city and had shown "a deep understanding of local, regional and national connections that will add value and opportunity to local artists and to our city's cultural ambitions".

The 450-seat NST City theatre opened in 2018 as part of the £30m "cultural quarter" development in Guildhall Square.

The council said the building was an integral part of it UK City of Culture 2025 bid.

Chief executive of The Mayflower Theatre Trust Michael Ockwell said: "The building will become a creative hub working with and supporting local artists and companies.

"We do not envisage the building being able to present performances until spring 2021 and we look forward to sharing our plans in more detail in due course."

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