BRITAIN (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Live Nation, Britain’s largest theatre operator has articulated apprehension over the closing of the 104 year old Tameside Hippodrome in Greater Manchester. The local authority cannot seem to secure new management for this establishment.
Live Nation’s contract with the Tameside Hippodrome expired in September 2007 and the theatre has been closed until they secure new management for the institution. While the theatre operator decided not to renew its contract, it agreed to continue running the venue through to March 31, as an interim measure to help the borough council. Despite the additional time, the venue is still set to go dark. According to The Stage News.
A Live Nation spokesman said: “We’re very disappointed to hear that to date Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council has failed to find a replacement management company to run their local theatre and has therefore decided to close the venue from April 1 until a long term view is known.”
The company’s divisional manager Peter Evans insisted that he could not disclose why the contract was not renewed because the council was in the middle of a tender process. He said Live Nation had no general strategy to terminate contracts with other regional theatres in its UK portfolio.
Evans added that Live Nation would try to deploy its 15 permanent and 30 temporary employees to other venues run by the company in the region – including the Palace, Opera House and Apollo theatres – but said a redundancy process would also be put in place.
According to Evans, the local authority plans to give the venue a facelift while it is closed, although it has not confirmed whether it would close the Hippodrome for good.
Meanwhile, according The Stage News, an online petition campaigning to protect the 104-year-old venue has been signed by more than 1,000 people. Launched by Save Tameside Hippodrome Theatre, a 2,550 strong group on social networking site Facebook, the petition has labelled the actions of the local authority as a “disgrace”. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers