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Brighton theatre’s future at risk as funding bid is denied
One of Brighton’s best-loved theatres has lost out in its bid for Arts Council England funding.
The Nightingale, which is located above the Grand Central pub, near Brighton Station, now faces an uncertain future.
Today theatre director Steven Brett is to meet Arts Council representatives to discuss the venue’s long-term strategy.
He said he does not want the Nightingale to close and promised a full programme of events for this year’s Fringe.
The theatre will put on between 70 and 80 performances.
Mr Brett took over the theatre, which reopened in 2004, three years ago.
Nightingale officials asked for £150,000 from the Arts Council for the next two years and were devastated to learn this bid had been turned down.
Mr Brett said: “The Arts Council said the overhead costs were not appropriate for the activities.
“It is not a lot of money but we are a small theatre. We have 48 seats and they thought it was too much.
“We needed that money as we were planning to put on three brand new commissions, which are very costly.
“The Nightingale is a really terrific theatre and is loved by all sorts of people.”
The Cheeky Guide to Brighton describes the theatre as having “nurtured and supported groundbreaking talent”.
An Arts Council England spokesman said it was “regrettable” that the Nightingale request had been rejected.
He said: “The value of the theatre’s work has been recognised by the Arts Council, which has supported the theatre’s ambitions to support artists and present innovative work for many years, with more than £287,726 in grants since 2004.
“We are currently talking to the theatre about its plans for the future, including the option to re-submit the application, and it is our hope that we can work with the theatre to find a positive way forward for the organisation and the artists and audiences it serves.”
The Nightingale is asking people to write testimonies as to why they love it.
You can share your memories of The Nightingale by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or commenting below
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