East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s statement when the Playhouse Action Group made requests for information regarding the various proposed enterprises.
“East Riding of Yorkshire Council will not comment on commercially confidential information associated with proposals for the use of Beverley Picture Playhouse, which was presented to the Cabinet earlier in the week. However, now that some of this information has appeared in a local newspaper, the Council would like to set out it’s current position with regard to the Playhouse to avoid further rumour and misunderstanding.”
This is East Riding Councils standard press release: The Picture Playhouse is owned by the Council but has been operated for many years by a series of private companies which have taken responsibility for the running of the facility under the terms of a lease from the Council.
The use of this property came to an end late last year when the Council’s tenant ceased trading and went into liquidation. Despite extensive attempts by the company’s liquidators, they were unsuccessful in finding a new operator to take over the facility and handed the empty property back to the council earlier this year. The Council was clearly not responsible for the closure of this facility.
The Council recognised the importance of this Grade II listed building and, in order to attract high quality proposals which sympathetically preserve this landmark building, expressions of interest were invited indicating a preference for proposals that maintain a premier entertainment venue for Beverley. The nine proposals submitted were considered in detail by the Council’s Cabinet. The five short-listed proposals demonstrate the availability of funding for substantial investment and refurbishment to the property and provide the greatest prospects of securing its long term and sustainable future.
The five proposals are as follows:
* world renowned coffee and tea shop.
* retail and licensed restaurant.
* cafe bar/restaurant and possible entertainment venue.
* Cinema/Museum and associated uses.
The Council has fully consulted both Beverley Town Council and the Trustees of the Memorial Hall throughout the process. The Town Council was invited to submit proposals for the future of the Playhouse but did not do so. The Trustees declined an offer for them to take over the Playhouse in exchange for the Memorial Hall, with the proceeds of selling the Memorial Hall being made available to them for refurbishment of the Playhouse. Additionally, the Town Council and Trustees all attended an open morning held for them to give serious consideration to proposals for the future of the Picture Playhouse.
At this stage, the Council reiterates that a decision has not been made on the future of the building. Those who submitted the proposals that have been short listed, which include a wide range of potential uses, have been invited to submit more detailed and specific proposals. Once received all of these proposals will be given full consideration prior to a decision being made by the Cabinet on the future of the Playhouse.