Angel appeal has wings

A LAST-minute appeal has been launched to raise £1 million to save a theatre from being demolished to make way for a village green.Campaigners have unveiled their scheme to safeguard the future of the Angel Theatre, Rendlesham, near Woodbridge, by purchasing the building and using it for plays, films and conferences.

A LAST-minute appeal has been launched to raise £1 million to save a theatre from being demolished to make way for a village green.

Campaigners have unveiled their scheme to safeguard the future of the Angel Theatre, Rendlesham, near Woodbridge, by purchasing the building and using it for plays, films and conferences.

However, officers from Suffolk Coastal Council are engaged in talks with developers to establish if an alternative venue is available for the theatre on the former American air base and councillors say it appears ''inevitable'' that the theatre will have to leave its current home.

Paul Cawthorn, of Woodbridge Road, Tunstall, is one of the campaigners and he said: ''Local audiences, families within the community, tourism and leisure interests in Suffolk are best served by retaining the Angel; a purpose built theatre and cinema, and purchased with Arts Council, local donations and various Theatre Trust funds, and established as the people's theatre of Suffolk to provide as complete a range of good family entertainment as possible.''

The Angel Theatre has been in use since September, 1999, but it has a capacity for 500 theatregoers and the developers say it is not economic to run a theatre from such a large building.

Seebrook Holdings Ltd lease the building on a minimal rent to the Angel Theatre Trust and Seebrook wants the building to be demolished as part of a strategy to revitalise the heart of the air base and bring in new facilities to make a village for 3,000 residents.

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John Richardson, chairman of the district's development control committee, said the nearby redundant American Community Centre could be a suitable alternative for the theatre.

''It seems inevitable that the Angel Theatre will have to leave its current home and if the Trust and the developers cannot reach a mutually acceptable agreement then a completely new location may be needed,'' said Mr Richardson.

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