Civic to close next month
Last updated at 11:21, Thursday, 03 October 2013
WHITEHAVEN Civic Hall is set to close in four weeks’ time – as the wait goes on for a rescue package to be put in place.
Copeland Council reiterated this week that the venue will close on November 1, as previously announced.
However, talks are still ongoing between the council and potential future managers of the venue.
And The Whitehaven News understands if the Civic does close in four weeks, it could reopen if and when new managers are found.
Copeland Council revealed earlier this year, due to cuts from central government, it must withdraw funding to the civic’s managers, North Country Leisure (NCL), and the venue will close permanently unless any group comes forward to run it without council subsidy.
Three permanent members of NCL staff remain at the civic, with others having left earlier this year when opening hours were reduced. The venue has been bringing in casual staff to work during events.
John Maude, NCL’s chief executive, said: ‘Three members of staff are at risk of redundancy and we are in consultation with these staff now.
“No formal notification has been issued to staff at this time.”
A number of community groups, including theatre troupes, choirs and musicians, have all expressed concerns about what the civic’s closure would mean to the local area.
Whitehaven Theatre Group has been forced to book Egremont Market Hall for this year’s pantomime, Sleeping Beauty.
And music promoters, The Mighty Boof, fear that their show on October 11 – featuring Sound of Guns, Twisted Wheel and The 45s – could be their last there.
The final run of scheduled shows at the civic continues with American Wrestling (October 12), Stan Boardman (October 13), Rock 24/7 (October 19), Re-Bjorn (October 20) and The Elvis Years (October 24).
Paul Walker, Copeland’s chief executive, said: “We are continuing to explore other management arrangements for the facility, but at this stage, it is too early to say whether any of these will go ahead, or what future arrangements may be.”
First published at 11:05, Thursday, 03 October 2013
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
Have your say
It's a sad day for Whitehaven and West Cumbria to see the Civic Hall close. I have had some great times there, Concerts, Theatre Group, Amature Operaratics, The Whitehaven Music Festival, Wedding Receptions etc. This decision is another nail in the coffin of West Cumbria, another way of ripping the heart out of the community! However if the community will not support it they deserve to loose it! A facility that was fought for by a previous generation will be concined to the history books!
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