Extraordinary meeting to discuss Wellingborough’s Castle theatre

The Castle theatre in Wellingborough
The Castle theatre in Wellingborough

An extraordinary meeting to discuss a town theatre is taking place next week.

Wellingborough Council has called the meeting on May 31, which will include discussion of a report on The Castle.

Details of the report have not yet been published by the council, but the meeting comes after The Castle (Wellingborough) Limited, which ran the theatre, was put into administration in April following the loss of its contract with Wellingborough Council.

Since then, administrators have been working to find a solution to secure the theatre’s long-term future.

The situation at The Castle has left some groups concerned about money which they claim they are owed after staging events there.

Roger Osborne, honorary treasurer for Wellingborough Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society, said: “The position with The Castle at the moment is it has left various societies out of pocket, in particular ours.”

He claims the group, which is 108 years old this year, is owed a five-figure sum after putting on Singin’ In The Rain in March.

The Castle sold tickets on the group’s behalf and after deducting its charges, the group should receive the balance.

However, it says it has not had any money, making it difficult to clear its outstanding bills from the show, and it has cancelled next year’s show, which would have taken place in March.

Mr Osborne said: “We have cancelled next year’s show because we haven’t got the funds.

“We could fold as a result of it because it has left us having to do smaller shows somewhere else, but it won’t be anywhere as lavish as it is at The Castle.”

The generosity of ‘one or two donations’ has helped the group clear its bills, but Mr Osborne said it will take a lot of fundraising to get back the money which he says it is owed.

Mr Osborne, who has been involved in amateur dramatics since 1973, said the group is open to donations and anyone who can help the group can email osborne.roger@hotmail.com.

Former Wellingborough mayor Barry Graves may also be affected by the situation at The Castle.

Speaking at last week’s full council meeting, Cllr Graves said they may not see any money back from a concert held at the theatre in support of his main charity for the year, Northamptonshire Carers.

He said: “We are not likely to see the £600 from the concert at The Castle because of what’s going on there.”

The Northants Telegraph contacted the administrators PBC Business Recovery & Insolvency and a spokesman said discussions with the council are ongoing with regards to the development of the premises and trading.

Anyone who believes they are owed money is urged to get in touch with the administrators.

A statement issued last month said: “One duty of the joint administrators is to review the conduct of the company officers in accordance with the Company Directors’ Disqualification Act 1986 and whether any personal liability arises.

“These investigations take place ‘behind the scenes’ and anyone interested in the administration is invited to provide evidence that may assist those inquiries.

“In the meantime, the council and joint administrators are working closely together in order to secure the best resolution for The Castle going forward and for creditors as a whole.”

Next week’s extraordinary meeting is at 7pm on Tuesday, May 31, at Swanspool House in Wellingborough.