Portsmouth leaders welcome financial lifeline

Portsmouth lraders have welcomed a cash boost for the revival of the New Theatre Royal
Portsmouth lraders have welcomed a cash boost for the revival of the New Theatre Royal
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COUNCILLORS have welcomed the £150,000 cash lifeline going to the New Theatre Royal to ensure its survival.

The expenditure was approved as part of Portsmouth City Council’s capital budget proposals at a meeting yesterday.

Other political parties also approved the money being spent.

But a warning was issued the theatre will need to become self-sufficent due to pressures on the council’s budget and the fact more savings will need to be made.

Cllr Linda Symes, Tory cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: ‘This will help enable the theatre to get its funding from Arts Council England.

‘To be able to see this project nearing completion is wonderful.

‘It’s a great venue, and I am sure it will be very successful.’

Lib Dem culture spokesman Cllr Lee Hunt said: ‘This will help bring young people together and help them in their careers in the cultural industries.

‘There will be jobs right across the board, from back of the stage to front of house. It’s also great that the university will have access for its students.’

Labour group leader, Cllr John Ferrett, said: ‘Clearly, it would have been insane to not give the theatre one of the last bits of funding it needs to complete the project.

‘But the New Theatre Royal must live within its means.

‘We are going to have to find more cuts over the next three years.’

Cllr Donna Jones, Tory leader of the council, said: ‘It’s important we don’t leave the theatre high and dry at the end of its project and we ensure this much-loved theatre is completed and brought back open for people’s enjoyment.’