J M Williams and J A O’Sullivan of Bishop Fleming LLP, were today, 23 January 2017, appointed as Administrators to North Devon Theatres’ Trust.
The Trust which runs two theatres, The Queens in Barnstaple and The Landmark in Ilfracombe has run into financial difficulties and is unable to continue to operate.
The Administrators can confirm that all future performances are presently cancelled and the box offices are closed.
The Board of Trustees from the Trust commented:
"Over the last 12 months North Devon theatres have seen a drop in attendances at our theatres of nearly 20%, including a drop of 8% for Panto. Our grant from North Devon Council was reduced this year and will be significantly reduced further in 2017/18 by over £110,000. No business can survive against these harsh realities. Even though a third of the audience normally comes from the Torridge District Council area they have never financially supported the theatre. The NDTT had a robust business plan which would have seen the Trust buy the two theatres to protect them for 129 years. The falloff in ticket sales made the original deal unaffordable and a revised offer to buy the theatres for a 15 year lease for £50k was rejected."
It is therefore with great regret that the Board of the charity, mindful of their statutory obligations as a charity, have today entered into Administration and in due course may move into insolvency. The theatres are closed and all shows presently cancelled. The ideal of their being a vibrant local arts charity, drawing in support from businesses and the public alongside good will from organisations such as The Arts Council to provide two exciting theatres in North Devon, is currently unachievable. Jonathan Williams of Bishop Fleming commented, "Despite the best efforts of the Board of Trustees the Trust has had to enter into Administration. We will work closely with the Board to achieve the best resolution possible for everyone concerned." Information will appear on the North Devon Theatres web site giving advice and guidance as it becomes available. Information regarding ticket refunds will be available on www.bishopfleming.co.uk/northdevontheatres