Council weighs up £2m backing for theatre revamp
PLANS to transform the Theatre Royal could get a £2million boost from the city council.
Theatre bosses this week revealed proposals for a once-in-a-generation facelift costing up to £7million.
They have applied for £5 million Arts Council funding and are preparing to launch a public appeal for cash in a bid to begin work next year.
Now Plymouth City Council's Cabinet is to consider a funding package that could unlock the millions of pounds needed.
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The Arts Council funding is conditional on the council committing to three years funding and the theatre raising another £2 million.
A report to the Cabinet on September 11 sets out a proposal which would see the council withhold its annual £665,000 grant to the theatre for three years and instead put in a lump sum of procured capital works worth £1,995,000.
A restructuring of the lease arrangement on the council-owned theatre building to meet Arts Council security requirements is also being proposed.
Cllr Mark Lowry, the Cabinet member for finance, said: "The theatre plays an extremely important role in attracting visitors from across the region. It is a key player in our growing arts and creative industries sector – one of Plymouth's priority growth sectors."
The theatre brings in an estimated £26 million to the city's economy every year and has the third highest economic impact of all 541 theatres in the UK after the National Theatre in London and RSC in Stratford-Upon-Avon.
Adrian Vinken, the chief executive, said: "We would like to thank the council for the particularly complex work that it has undertaken around this project to get it to this stage."