The people of Wellingborough could play a part in future of Wellingborough theatre

The Castle theatre in Wellingborough
The Castle theatre in Wellingborough
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The people of Wellingborough could have a part to play in securing the future of their town’s theatre.

Wellingborough Council held an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday to discuss what happens next with The Castle theatre.

The meeting comes a week before the administrator has to report to creditors after The Castle Wellingborough Ltd was put into administration in April.

As the council owns the property, the administrator has to be given advice on what would be an acceptable solution for the future of the building and site before that report is published.

But before any discussions took place, two members of the public spoke about saving the theatre.

Tony Banks dressed as William Shakespeare to address the council and talk about the potential tragedy if the theatre could not be saved.

Marion Turner-Hawes then spoke on behalf of the Castle Community Action Group and said: “There remains much uncertainty about the future of The Castle and if accepted I feel these proposals will set us in the right direction to resolve the future of the theatre as soon as possible.

“I also believe council officers and lead members should be praised for their skill in weaving together these resolutions at this difficult time for staff, creditors and the users of The Castle theatre.

“Secondly I support the points in the paper which clearly put the role of the community at the heart of the council’s future plans for the theatre.

“This is greatly welcomed.”

Members of the public and press were then asked to leave the chamber as they were exempt from some discussions due to legal privilege.

These discussions took more than two hours, but once they council had come up with an amended resolution to the original one proposed by council officers, council leader Martin Griffiths put the amended resolution to members and it was unanimously agreed.

The agreed resolution was to reaffirm the council’s decision on March 22 to terminate the contract with The Castle Wellingborough Ltd, including the requirement for an exit management plan.

If for any reason an exit management plan can’t be agreed, an interim arrangement will be put in place and the details of this will be agreed by the council’s chief executive, leader, leader of the opposition and Cllr Ken Harrington.

A further report will then be submitted at a future meeting of the council to consider the medium and long-term future of The Castle.

This report will also consider matters such as community involvement, appropriate funding provision and the theatre’s place within the borough as a whole as a community arts and education venue.