Peterborough’s iconic Broadway Theatre is set to be retained as an entertainment venue with a takeover deal believed to be near completion.
Entrepreneur Peter Dawe and Willow Festival organiser Mark Ringer are fronting a bid for the theatre which they believe can thrive in the future.
Mr Dawe, who is standing to be Cambridgeshire’s first ever elected mayor, said he was “very optimistic” that a 20 year lease with an option to purchase the key city centre venue from owner Rinaldo Fasulo could be agreed in the next few days.
Last July, the Peterborough Telegraph revealed plans to turn the historic site into more than 50 luxury apartments.
Millionaire Ely businessman Mr Dawe said: “I’ve been given the impression that the deal will be accepted. My belief is we will see the whole of Broadway lit up. This will be an anchor for Peterborough.”
Mr Ringer, who is Mr Dawe’s mayoral running mate, will be head of operations at the theatre. His vision is for the venue to be open every day and to host seven or eight shows a week. There would also be a piano bar inside and live music in the day time.
He said: “We have already identified 200 shows and events we want to bring to the theatre. I’ve had conversations with organisers about coming. There is no shortage of people who want to use it.”
Mr Ringer also said he was very open to West End productions from Bill Kenwright returning to the theatre after they had been well received on previous tours to the city.
Mr Dawe would not reveal the deal offered for the theatre, but he said both himself and Mr Ringer had offered “substantial” funds, on top of money put in by private backers. The pair are part of a new community interest company which would run the theatre and seek more investment locally to put on top shows.
Mr Dawe also admitted that he is trying to push through the deal before the election to show he is about “delivery rather than empty promises.” Mr Fasulo was unavailable for comment.