February 17, 2011
Princess Theatre is secured
future of Burnham-On-Sea's Princess Theatre has been secured,
Sedgemoor District Council announced on Wednesday (February 16th).
April, Burnham and Highbridge Town Council is to enter into a
125-year lease agreement with Sedgemoor District Council to take
over and operate the building at a 'peppercorn rent' of £1
is to give a 'transitional subsidy' of £90,000 to the Town
Council to enable it to make improvements to the closure-threatened
building, thereby helping it to increase its use and income.
Cllr Peter Burridge-Clayton, Chairman of the Town Council's Princess
Task and Finish Group, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "This is
a good example of partnership working. The Princess is an excellent
facility with great potential."
the improvements we have in mind and a marketing manager in place,
I feel that exciting times are ahead."
more local input and ownership, I am certain this can only mean
a better future for the Princess and the benefit it provides for
also reported last
week that the town council had earmarked £70,000 of
funds towards taking on The Princess.
Teresa Harvey, Group manager of Community Development of Wellbeing,
added: "This is the result of hard work and agreement between
both parties that this is a valued community facility within the
are pleased that the negotiations have been successful and the
facility will remain a building for the community to utilise.
The transitional funding from Sedgemoor will be used to improve
the facilities and provide a future for the Princess and its users."
deal comes after a resolution was passed last December at a Burnham
and Highbridge Town Council meeting when representatives from
Sedgemoor District Council and the Town Council met to form a
task and finish group to secure the future of the Princess for
community use. Negotiations went well and an agreement has been
reached in principle between both parties.
to legal work and a satisfactory condition survey, April 2011
will see Burnham and Highbridge Town Council to take over and
run the facilities. The decision has been welcomed by members
of the town council's working party, comprising Cllr Michael Clarke,
Cllr Chris Williams, Cllrs Pollard and Cllr Smout.
It ends a long-running saga over the future of the building.
Burnham-On-Sea.com reported on the district council's surprise
decision to pull the plug on its procurement process to find a
new owner last September here.
the bidders for the building were S&D Cinemas, which runs
Burnham's Ritz Cinema, and The Friends of The Princess, which
has operated the hall in conjunction with Sedgemoor District Council.
District Council has been responsible for the loss-making Princess
Theatre since a local Government re-organisation in 1974, but
its current financial position means it can no longer afford to
Lang, from the Friends of The Princess, told Burnham-On-Sea.com:
"We are all relieved that the future of this 'jewel in the
crown' for Burnham has finally been secured."
above are members of the celebrating Princess Working Party