December 11th, 2007
Posted by Cptn
Exeter’s art scene is set to face another blow with the closure threat that now hangs over the Northcott Theatre.
In a move dripping with irony the theatre, which re-opened today after a £2.1 million redevelopment, is set to lose its Arts Council grant from April 2009, making it impossible to operate.
The work was paid for by grants from Exeter City Council (£750,000), Devon County Council (£450,000) and the University of Exeter (£300,000) plus private donations. The three organisations only pledged their money after receiving assurances from the Arts Council that it was ‘committed’ to the theatre’s future. The Arts Council itself contributed £100,000 towards the cost of the conversion and a further £540,000 in revenue grant to support the theatre while it was closed.
Steve Gratton, chair of the Northcott Theatre Board, told the PRSD: “I simply cannot understand why the Arts Council would say it is committed to the theatre, allow public money to be spent on its redevelopment and then pull the plug just as the theatre re-opens. This is a bitter pill for the Theatre’s 58 staff to swallow, coming as they re-open the theatre and just two weeks before Christmas. We had no inkling at all that this was going to happen. Everyone who supports and works for Exeter Northcott has the right to feel very angry indeed.”
Expressions of support can be sent via email to: or in writing to Save Exeter Northcott Campaign, Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QB.
Entry Filed under: Arts