Search for buyer as short-term future of Playhouse is secured

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A BUYER is being sought for Bradford Playhouse after the company which owned and ran the theatre went into liquidation last month.

Chris Wood, of Clough Corporate Solutions, has been appointed as the liquidator of the Playhouse, which is officially called The Priestley Centre For The Arts, and has already agreed a deal to secure the short-term future of the theatre.

As part of the arrangement a newly formed company, called Be Wonderful, has been granted a licence to trade from the premises and honour existing bookings whilst the property is for sale.

Clough Corporate Solutions, which is a division of Bradford-based Clough & Company, is working with Michael Steel & Co Property Consultants to find a buyer for the building.

Mr Wood said: “Bradford Playhouse was a charitable organisation that had struggled to generate sufficient funding and this had resulted in debts of approximately £300,000.

“Our main aim now is to maximise realisations for creditors through the sale of the building which is already generating interest.

“The property potentially lends itself to a wide range of uses and appeals to both investors and occupiers alike who might want to consider alternative uses for it.

“However, the building has played a key role in Bradford’s cultural heritage since 1929 so it would be fantastic if a buyer could be found that would rejuvenate the theatre.”

Be Wonderful is run by Rob Walters, former chairman of the theatre. He said: “The previous company structure combined with its level of debt made the theatre unsustainable but we are confident that we can make it successful again.”

He added: “We’re also exploring whether Be Wonderful can occupy the building long-term and are looking at several options that could make this feasible if we can find the right supporters and people to work with.”

The Playhouse covers approximately 16,800 sq ft on Chapel Street in Little Germany and is home to a proscenium arch theatre with 290 seats, studio space and bar facilities.