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List of theatres at risk sees ‘unprecedented’ increase

(PA)
(PA)

Ten theatres have been added to a register of venues at risk – bringing the total across the UK to 41.

The list, which is published annually by the Theatres Trust, highlights spaces under threat of closure, redevelopment or demolition.

The Trust described the increase on the previous year as “unprecedented” and cited the impact of the pandemic and the knock-on affect of businesses and local authorities being faced with financial pressures.

Among the venues added to the list are the Roundhouse Theatre in Dover and the Amulet Theatre in Shepton Mallet.

Former theatre buildings now being used as cinemas, bingo halls and nightclubs that face being redeveloped for residential use also feature on the list, such as the Garrick Theatre in Southport, which was recently sold by Mecca Bingo.

Since the register began in 2006, 80 of the 187 theatres that have featured have been reopened as live performance venues, are under refurbishment or have a “suitable replacement” planned.

Actor David Morrissey, an ambassador for the trust, said: “Theatres play a vital role in communities across the country and in supporting actors like myself who without their local theatre would not have developed a theatre career.

“The pandemic has been devastating for the whole theatre sector, but we must work together to make sure the theatres on the Theatres at Risk list are supported and protected for future generations to enjoy.”

Theatres Trust director Jon Morgan said: “We are now starting to see the true extent of the effects of the pandemic on the UK’s wonderful theatre buildings, hitting well-loved community theatres as well as historic theatres that had been protected by other uses like being bingo halls.

“Theatres Trust would urge anyone who owns a theatre building to consider its long-term value as a performance space and work with us to keep these buildings in use for their communities.”

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