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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 March, 2005, 08:11 GMT
Carnival arts centre 'to close'
One of London's best known arts centres could close on Thursday after finding itself 100,000 in debt.

The Tabernacle in Ladbroke Grove, west London, owes the money for staff payments and running costs such as gas and electricity bills.

The centre is used by about 250,000 people each year and is the hub of the annual Notting Hill Carnival.

According to the centre's director, the problem arose after funds promised to the Tabernacle never came through.

Anton Phillips told BBC News: "Because we have been operating on a knife edge you only need one little blip for disaster to happen.

The plans which I've had, I've not been able to carry out because we have been constrained by no cash in the till
Tabernacle director Anton Phillips
"Unfortunately we have had two blips recently where we had reasonably expected to receive, and relied on, money that suddenly didn't materialise."

He added: "I came to the Tabernacle with high hopes of creating a very exciting arts centre for the community and for the whole of London.

"The potential of the place is terrific. It has a wonderful theatre, art gallery, and restaurant.

"It has everything you need to create a vibrant, exciting arts centre.

"But the plans which I've had, I've not been able to carry out because we have been constrained by no cash in the till."

The Tabernacle, which was established in the 1960s as focus point for the Caribbean community, has until 2100 GMT to find the money.

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