The annual cost of running Burnham-On-Sea’s Princess Theatre has fallen below £50,000 for the first time, according to new figures released this week.

Burnham and Highbridge Town Council, which took over the theatre from Sedgemoor District Council in 2011, says the annual cost to tax payers of running the facilities is £47,839, which is down from £51,000 a year earlier.

Town Clerk Denise Emery told “When we took over The Princess from Sedgemoor three years ago, the annual running costs were £70,000 and rising, so the costs have come down substantially.”

“The theatre’s finances have been boosted by increased room hire and extra income from events and the new-look art cafe. More people than ever are using the facilities, whether attending events or dropping in for a coffee.”

“We always knew there would be a balancing act between the costs of keeping it running and the number of people using it – so it’s great to see the theatre constantly busy and well-supported.”

“The overall trend is of financial improvement and Burnham has a superb community facility, overseen by a great management team.”

The costs exclude annual ‘sinking fund’ maintenance fees of around £5,000. The transferal of ownership of The Princess from Sedgemoor District Council to Burnham and Highbridge Town Council took place three years ago.