Leeds & West Yorkshire

Bradford theatre sales possible says council report

Alhambra Theatre Image copyright Bradford Theatres
Image caption The Alhambra Theatre in Bradford city centre opened in 1914

Two landmark Bradford theatres could be sold as budgets continue to be cut, according to a council report.

A management buyout is one of four options being considered by Bradford Council, the Telegraph & Argus reports.

It owns and runs four venues; the Alhambra and its studio theatre, St George's Hall, and the King's Hall and Winter Gardens in Ilkley.

More than £570,000 has been lost from the theatre budget since 2011 with a further £120,000 to be cut in 2017/18.

The theatres' subsidy was £418,000 in 2015/16, the report said.

Other options in the report are for the theatres to remain in council control, for a commercial management company to run them, or for a charitable trust to be set up.

Image copyright Stephen Richards
Image caption St George's Hall was opened by Queen Victoria in 1853

St George's Hall is a purpose-built concert hall opened in 1853. It attracted an audience of almost 77,000 in 2015/16.

It is currently closed for refurbishment and it due to reopen late next year.

The Alhambra Theatre is one of Bradford's principle visitor attractions with more than 270,000 ticket sales annually, according to latest figures.

The four venues employ about 60 people (full-time equivalent posts) and have a turnover of between £6m and £8m.

The report has been prepared for the Regeneration and Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on 22 December.

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