CONCERNS have been raised over the condition of Doncaster’s Victorian Grand Theatre building.
Doncaster Council has confirmed it recently used powers available to officers to gain access to inspect the building because of concerns over some small areas of the building.
The owners were asked to carry out repairs. Contractors have been appointed by the owners and the council says it will be monitoring the situation.
Peter Davies, Mayor of Doncaster, said: “I am committed to saving Doncaster’s historic buildings, particularly this theatre, which is a wonderful example of Victorian architecture.
“Making a compulsory purchase of the building is not possible as there is no budget available for the upkeep.
“The key issue is finding an appropriate and viable use for the building, preferably as a theatre.”
His comments followed questions from the public raised at a recent council meeting.
One of the questions, listed in an official document and put to the mayor, described the building as having been in good condition in early 1995 when it became a Grade II listed building, but raised concerns over its current state, describes as dilapidated and in need of urgent works.
Another question stated that keeping all Doncaster’s listed buildings up to scratch was the council’s responsibility.
It asked what was being done to ensure the building was kept in reasonable condition.
The Grand Theatre has been at the centre of an ongoing campaign to see it restored and brought back in to use as a theatre.
Thousands of people have signed a petition in support of the campaign.
The theatre was built in 1899 and acts to have performed there include Charlie Chaplin, Max Miller and Morecambe and Wise.
In 1961 it became a bingo hall, and it continued in that role until 1995, when it closed.
It gained Grade II listing status in 1994.
The campaign group Friends of the Doncaster Grand Theatre is still raising money towards the restoration of the 800-seater venue.
The Friends stage regular fundraising events.