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Theatre group bow out gracefully

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By Christie Breen
Dumfries and West
Theatre group bow out gracefully

THE ELECTRIC Theatre Workshop have expressed their disappointment this week after being outbid for a long-term lease of the Loreburn Hall.

The company which currently occupies the venue and has hosted numerous events there, including its hit cabaret show Big Burns Supper, missed out on the 25-year lease for the hall last month during a meeting of the Dumfries Common Good sub-committee.

Councillors on the sub-committee reviewed all bids for the hall, but when the sums were done over a ten-year period, the council said they would pocket £20,000 from Electric TheatreWorkshop or £51,000 from the Drill Hall Initiative.

And so the lease was awarded to the Drill Hall Initiative, a community group founded by Sandy Sweetman and Simon Robertson, formed three years ago to establish a sustainable future for the then vacant hall.

In a statement sent to supporters this week, a spokesperson for the Electric TheatreWorkshop said: “We were outbid by £3000 per year, which we feel was the right approach to take in the current economic climate. We do not regret this decision.

“We offered the council a profit share model which we felt was reflective of the level of risk our charity was prepared to take. We stand by this.

“We are grateful that Dumfries and Galloway Council recognised that our business plan was better, but in the end our councillors backed the bid that gave them more money.

“Our thanks go to the tremendous effort of our volunteers, promoters, artists, staff, and board over the last two years and to the partners who were prepared to back us if we got the hall and, of course, the thousands of local people who have attended our events.

“We are excited to see what Sandy and Simon do with the Loreburn Hall and we are fortunate that two parties were prepared to take on such a massive project for Dumfries. We wish them aw the best!

“Someday soon we will find a home of our own.”

Dumfries and West

24th May


By Christie Breen | DNG24