Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Ventnor Winter Gardens theatre to shut over funding axe

Ventnor Winter Gardens
Image caption Ventnor Winter Gardens is set to close on 31 January with the loss of 15 jobs

A theatre and music venue on the Isle of Wight is set to close after the council withdrew its funding.

Ventnor Winter Gardens is managed by Ventnor Town Council which uses box office sales and a council subsidy to run the 1930s art deco building.

But Isle of Wight Council has cut its funding and the town council said it cannot afford to solely run the site.

Fifteen jobs will go but the councils said they will invite offers for the site when it shuts on 31 January.

Isle of Wight council said it had hoped Ventnor Town Council could take over full running of the venue at the start of the new financial year on 1 April.

'Understand reasons'

But the town council said it cannot justify taking ownership of the site with one issue being the condition of the building, which is likely to need costly maintenance.

Councillor George Brown, Isle of Wight Council deputy leader, said: "While it is unfortunate that the town council has had to end its current management arrangements, I fully understand the reasons given the current financial pressures we are all facing.

"Both ourselves and the town council are determined... to continue to provide for the needs of the community but under different management arrangements without public subsidy.

"We look forward to receiving proposals in response to the expressions of interest that we will be issuing in the new year and to the town council's support in identifying the best option for the benefit of the town as a whole."

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