Page last updated at 15:02 GMT, Thursday, 1 April 2010 16:02 UK

Warwickshire's Shakespeare Country ceases trading

Shakespeare Country online game screen grab
A Shakespeare-themed game attracted 22m hits

South Warwickshire Tourism Ltd, which traded under the name Shakespeare Country, ceased trading on Wednesday with the loss of 17 jobs.

They say they were forced to close after Stratford-on-Avon District Council withdrew funding.

The company has promoted tourism to Stratford-upon-Avon, Royal Leamington Spa, Warwick, Kenilworth and the surrounding villages since 1997.

A firm spokeswoman said the news was met with "complete shock and dismay."

'Not viable'

Shakespeare Country was a not-for-profit partnership between Stratford and Warwick district councils and the private sector.

An online game created for Shakespeare country received 22 million users in February.

A Stratford-upon-Avon spokeswoman said Shakespeare Country could not prove it was a viable going concern.

She added: "Stratford District Council, as custodians of public money, has a duty to tax payers to ensure money is used appropriately and without risk."



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