BROMSGROVE District councillors from different parties have been responding to the news of Artrix ceasing trading with the Liberal Democrats calling on the authority to secure its future and Labour demanding it be brought under council control.
The Liberal Democrats want the authority to step in and save it as a ‘community asset’ to keep it as a venue for live theatre, music, film screenings and the arts.
Siobhan Hughes, whose seat covers where Artrix is located, said: “As a former student at North Bromsgrove High School, I had the privilege of using Artrix many times for various concerts and performances of musicals every year.
“I have also visited many times in more recent years to watch films, concerts and comedy shows.
“It would be a great shame to lose one of the best assets that Bromsgrove has to offer and as a council I believe we should be doing something to safeguard it for future generations.
“I feel very privileged that the Artrix falls into the district council ward that I am proud to represent.”
Josh Robinson, Bromsgrove Lib Dem Chair added: “Our community has come together over the recent months and we need to build on that.
“The Artrix is an important community asset that needs to be saved to ensure our town continues to thrive.”
Bromsgrove Lib Dems have pledged to do all they can to save the Artrix and the protect the jobs of those who work there.
The group have asked the Conservatives to explore every possible angle to secure a future for the arts centre.
Labour leader Peter McDonald has called for the authority to take it under its control.
“It is the only venue of its sort in Bromsgrove and it must be saved.
“It is too important to the people of Bromsgrove to be shut down completely.
“I am sure with the knowledge and resources available it would be successfully run by the council.
“Artrix has brought to the town many highly rated performers who without it we would have never had the pleasure of seeing.
“It also is used by students and small groups who will have nowhere to go if it shuts down completely.
“I am hopeful the council will realise the importance of the Artrix and completely take it over from the administrators.”
Bromsgrove District Council leader Coun Karen May said: “In such a short time since the news that the Artrix has gone into insolvency and subsequently had to close its doors, I have been blown away, but not surprised, by the support from our community and my council colleagues, for this facility.
“As part of the insolvency process the lease, in the short-term, will revert back to us as landlord but it’s important to understand that we can’t legally take over ‘Artrix’ as the charity is insolvent and no longer exists.
“The insolvency practitioner will now have to realise the assets of the Artrix to ensure the creditors are paid.
“We will use this time wisely and with immediate effect will be exploring all the possible options with senior officers from our legal and finance teams and partners to endeavour to secure the future of this building but we need to make sure any proposal, we put on the table in the future benefits our taxpayers and is commercially viable.
“To invest our residents’ money, into something which isn’t, would be frivolous.
“From 2005 this council, as part of its agreed phased grant reduction with the Artrix, has invested £1.3million in the facility and although the funding reduced from £120k to £60k in 2015/16 with the final payment of £60k in 2017/18, we would have expected the Artrix to be in a more secure financial position by then which is why the funding sliding scale was put forward and accepted.
“In the meantime I want to reassure residents and visitors that arts provision will continue across the district.”
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