Collapsed Scottish theatre saddled with £470k debt

Creditors of the Byre Theatre, based in St Andrews, which brought down the curtain at the end January with the loss of 25 jobs, stand to receive an estimated dividend of 31 pence in the pound after liquidators from Henderson Loggie have examined the accounts.

According to Henderson Loggie, who were appointed as liquidators earlier this month, creditors are owed a total of £471,271, while the assets of the theatre have been estimated to have a resaleable value of £271,103, leaving a deficit of £200,168.

Graeme Smith Henderson Loggie insolvency partner, said: 'The key issues to be taken from the report and the statement of affairs are the extreme difficulties faced in the current financial climate as a result of the reduction of grant funding available to the Byre. Despite funding being available for one-off projects, which allowed a number of outreach projects to be carried out for the benefit of the community, existing general funding did not cover the overheads of maintaining the Byre Theatre and the staff needed to operate it.'

Smith said the company would have needed a cash injection of between £60,000 and £80,000 to sustain the theatre until its proposed transfer to Fife Cultural Trust in April 2013. Its financial difficulties stemmed from the costs of repayments due on a bank loan of £143,000 taken out in 2000 to cover the cost of a new building, plus employees' claims, coupled with poor income from audiences over the last few months.

Smith said the theatre's operating loss was 'unsustainable' and paid tribute to members of the Byre board who he said had faced 'difficult decisions to take, and had the foresight to stop things getting worse.'

Pat Sweet |Reporter, Accountancy Daily [2010-2021]

Pat Sweet was the former online reporter at Accountancy Daily and contributor to the monthly Accountancy magazine, pub...

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