Newark Palace Theatre faces cash savings plan

Plans to slash the number of performances and increase charges at a Nottinghamshire theatre have gone out to public consultation.

Newark and Sherwood District Council said Newark's Palace Theatre already gets nearly £380,000 in subsidies.

Lower than predicted ticket sales could add £66,000 to this, which the council has said it cannot afford.

Proposals include opening three nights a week, cutting shows from 250 a year to 150 and restricting community use.

The council said it appreciated the value of the theatre to the community but it needed to find £1.1m to balance the budget in 2012-13, with further savings predicted to follow.

If approved, the plans would see the venue open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, as more than 60% of audiences visited on those nights.

In addition, the Palace would be expected to generate 40% more income by cutting dates for, and increasing charges to, community groups.

Councillor Roger Jackson, cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: "This period of consultation will give theatre users and community groups the opportunity to put forward their views on the Palace Theatre.

"This will enable us to make some decisions now about the theatre, while the task and finish group looks in more depth at its long term future."

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