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UPDATED: Weymouth Pavilion to stay open until end of May
2:34pm Tuesday 22nd January 2013 in Latest
THEATRE goers and performers have been offered a temporary reprieve as councillors decided Weymouth Pavilion will be staying open until the end of May.
Shows which have already been booked, including the WOW Youth Theatre's production of Miss Saigon, are to go ahead.
The Pavilion will also be able to house the Mayor Making events and vote counting for county council elections.
Weymouth and Portland Borough Councillor and spokesman for Tourism and Leisure Ian Bruce said: “I am delighted that the council is now planning to allow events already booked at the Pavilion until the end of May to take place.
“Whatever the decision of councillors considering the budget in February, it is important that our customers, plus those organising and taking part in these shows, had this reassurance.”
The move comes after Pavilion bosses were slammed for continuing to sell tickets to events later in the year when the future of the theatre was uncertain.
Community group leader Margo Kirk spoke out last week when she discovered the Pavilion could be closing its doors as early as March 31 - after she had paid for tickets to a performance of That'll Be The Day in May.
Coun Bruce added: “The future of the Pavilion financing is a vital issue to be resolved, but allowing bookings up to at least the end of May both ensures these events and things like the Mayor Making and counting of votes for the county council elections can take place without any additional costs to the taxpayer.”
Alan McKechan, chairman of WOW Youth Theatre said the way the Echo had highlighted the plight of the group had helped to resolve the situation.
He said: “We had good coverage and I'm sure the publicity helped.
“I would also say that the councillors were very willing to help us find a solution.”
Mr McKechan contacted Coun Bruce a week ago to see if there was a way the show could go ahead.
He added: “The uncertainty has been dreadful, but I am delighted that officers and councillors have been able to work together to make this happen.”
Janet Stockley, president of the group, said: “It really is fantastic news. The youngsters have been rehearsing three times a week, even without being sure they are going to be able to perform.
“They'll be delighted.”
WHILE the Pavilion will stay open for events already booked in until the end of May, the permanent future of the building remains uncertain.
Following a public consultation, borough councillors will debate proposals put forward by the Save the Pavilion group at a Management Committee meeting on February 5.
The budget will be set at a Full Council meeting on February 21.
Weymouth and Portland Borough Council faces a cut of £533,459 in funding from central government and expects to have to spend £3.9million less each year by 2019/20.