Peterborough City Council still searching for “interim operator” for Key Theatre as talks continue

Peterborough City Council has confirmed that talks are stil ongoing to find an “interim operator” for the city’s Key Theatre.

Friday, 14th January 2022, 4:47 am
Peterborough's Key Theatre.
Peterborough's Key Theatre.

Given the end of the panto season last week, the last performance on the famous stage has already taken place ahead of the venue’s official closure on January 17.

The decision was announced in December as a measure to help Peterborough City Council save money and tackle their financial difficulties.

The decision sparked outrage among many residents in the city but the council has always maintained that it is open to options of keeping the theatre open in a way that requires no financial input from themselves.

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Selladoor, which runs the New Theatre in the city, has previously stated that is “looking at any way we can help resolve the situation at the Key for the benefit of the city, the cultural community and our audiences.”

Now though, it appears that the most likely option, in the short term, is for a provider to take over the venue on a trial basis.

Several sources close to the Peterborough Telegraph have stated that this is the current basis of discussions.

Kindred Drama, which runs the Key Youth Theatre, posted an update on Facebook on Monday (January 10) which said: “So there may be more good news ahead. After positive meetings today we can update you with the news that (subject to contracts) there is a provider who is looking to take on the theatre for an initial 12-month trial period and that we will continue to run in the building as normal during this time.

“Long term discussions will take place over the coming months and we will of course continue to update you and provide more details as soon as we can.

“Thank you again for the incredible support. We cannot explain just how much it has kept us going over these difficult weeks.”

The group itself has already been given assurances that it can continue to operate after the theatre’s closure. The Chalkboard tea room has also been given the same assurances.

Discussions are ongoing, however, about the current staff at the theatre. The council has previously said that it will make every effort to ensure that they are redeployed.

Giving an update on the current situation, a council spokesperson said: “The current position is that City Culture Peterborough is consulting with staff on the proposed closure of the Key.

“We’re working hard to identify an interim operator who can continue to run the theatre if it does close at the end of the consultation, whilst we consider its long-term future, although nothing is yet confirmed.”