The re-opening of Burnham-On-Sea’s Princess Theatre has been delayed by a month until February 2021, it has been confirmed.
The theatre in Princess Street has been shut since March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Town Council-run facilities had been set to re-open in January, as we reported here.
While the Government is allowing theatres and arts centres across the UK to re-open in Covid Tiers 1 and 2, many are staying closed as they say it is not financially viable for them to operate with limited audience numbers to comply with social distancing rules.
Beccy Armory, Business Development Officer at The Princess, pictured, gave the new opening target date during the latest meeting of the Town Council’s Princess Management Committee.
“I would like nothing more than to re-open in January but it is much more likely to be the beginning of February,” she said, adding: “It’s all quite fluid.”
Meanwhile, the temporary closure is also enabling ongoing refurbishment of the theatre to continue inside, funded by the EDF Community Impact Mitigation fund. It emerged during the meeting that the council had been let down by a contractor providing new windows at the theatre, so an alternative course of action to keep the project within budget was instead agreed, undertaking refurbishment of the existing windows and entrance areas.
The meeting heard that the current contractors’ handover date is the end of January.
Beccy recently added: “Covid-19 has dealt the cultural sector a huge blow and, like many theatres up and down the country, we have been carefully navigating our way through the mess it has caused. It has not been an easy decision but it is the right thing to do.”
Cllr Louise Parkin, Chairman of Burnham and Highbridge Town Council’s The Princess Theatre Committee, recently added: “We know that this is disappointing for many, as it is for us, but we are committed to the health and safety of our staff and community, as well as the theatre and arts centre.”
“The Princess is grateful to so many for their support and kind donations especially our loyal audiences and the Arts Council.”