Page last updated at 16:06 GMT, Thursday, 25 February 2010

Northcott Theatre in Exeter is put into administration

Northcott auditorium
The Northcott Theatre has been been placed in the hands of administors

A Devon theatre has been placed into administration.

The trustees of Exeter's Northcott Theatre took the decision after being presented with financial information which revealed it to be insolvent.

However, Administrator Ian Walker, of Begbies Traynor, said it was his intention to try to ensure Northcott's spring programme would continue.

He added that talks would also be held to try to ensure that a theatre could be maintained in the city.

The Northcott Theatre was built on the University of Exeter's Streatham Campus in 1967, but it is run as an entirely separate organisation from the university and has its own board of trustees.

'Heavy heart'

Geoff Myers, chairman of the theatre's trustees, said: "We took this decision with a heavy heart but when presented with the latest financial information we had no choice but to place the theatre into administration.

"It is to be hoped that a way can be found to effect a rescue of the theatre.

"I have been greatly encouraged by the response of stakeholders who have agreed to do all they can to ensure the theatre continues in some way as a performance venue."

A legacy of financial problems has recently come to light
Arts Council England

In the meantime, Mr Myers is urging people to continue to support the theatre as those who book their tickets while it is in administration will, in the event of any performances being cancelled, be issued with a full refund.

A spokesperson for Arts Council England said: "We are disappointed that the decision has been taken to place the Northcott Theatre into administration at this point.

'We have been working with the new management over the last two years to broaden the theatre's programming and increase its audiences.

"Despite this hard work, a legacy of financial problems has recently come to light.

"The Arts Council has been working with the Northcott's new management to understand the extent of these problems but this work is not yet complete.

"We will now work with the administrators to see what assistance we might be able to offer to the organisation going forward."

Exeter City Council and the University of Exeter have also pledged their support to help retain artistic events in the city.



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