18th September 2021

TDBC Purchase of The Brewhouse Theatre

In the last hour Taunton Deane Borough Council have voted in favour of the purchase of The Brewhouse Theatre from the Administrators.

It was a very tight debate which was taken in private, away from the eyes and ears of the Press and Public who were eagerly hoping for an outcome this evening.

Prior to the debate at Full Council this evening Val Hammond, Chair of the Taunton Theatre Association, said they would look to work with the Council on operating the Theatre and urged Councillors to vote in favour of the purchase. Mark Dawson, Chair of Taunton Thespians, said “With several local theatre groups within one mile of Deane House, it was vital that Taunton had a theatre “.

Apple FM understands the vote was divided across political lines and was not a party political vote. As it was a closed vote we only know that the motion was carried by 29 votes to 10. The number of abstentions were unclear. Before the debate Liberal Democrat Leader Jefferson Horsley made this statement

“We have to meet two irreconcilable aims –

a) To sustain a Community Theatre with ensuring the quality befitting a regional centre in the South West and

b) That the tax payer gets value for money on a site which is out of date and no longer fit for purpose.”

“Simultaneously, let us begin to recognise that T he Brewhouse is flawed structurally as a venue, is a continual drain on the Council and the tax payers resources and any more tax payers contribution is throwing “good money after bad”.

Cllr John Meikle, a long time supporter of the Brewhouse, told Apple FM he was very pleased with the outcome.