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Theatre funding cuts 'heighten demolition risk'

15th July 2010

Funding cuts could lead to an increase in the number of theatres at risk of demolition over the next year, a new report has claimed.

Research by the Theatres Trust placed 55 buildings 'at risk' but predicted that this will rise significantly unless funding for the UK's 2,000 or so venues can be maintained.

The group's Theatre Buildings At Risk register revealed that Workington Opera House, the Borough Theatre in Wallsend and the grade II Derby Hippodrome are among the theatres at immediate risk of demolition, as their owners have applied for permission for their redevelopment.

Rob Dickins, chairman of the Theatre Commission, commented: 'I'm very concerned that the theatres currently providing local people with access to their only live arts and entertainment experiences are going to end up abandoned and lying empty.'

However, the report did contain some good news, as a number of venues, including the grade II Opera House in Blackpool and St George's Theatre in Great Yarmouth, are no longer classed as being at risk.

A recent study by English Heritage found that 11 per cent of England's places of worship are in urgent need of repair.

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