It has been announced that The Nuffield Southampton Theatres’ city venue Studio 144 will reopen under a new name and new management.
The Southampton City Council agreed to a bid by the Mayflower Theatre Trust to run the venue. The 450-seat theatre will be renamed MAST (as in Mayflower Studios). Mayflower chief executive Micheal Ockwell hopes that the studio “will become a creative hub working with and supporting local artists and companies.” It is hoped that performances will begin again in Spring 2021.
The Nuffield Southampton Theatres closed in July because of the coronavirus pandemic. The £1.57b support package came too late for the Nuffield Southampton Theatres and 86 staff members were made redundant.
The Mayflower Theatre Trust already runs the 2,300 seat Mayflower Theatre in Southampton. was selected as the preferred choice after an unsuccessful round of bidding. A new company Mayflower Academy Ltd has been established to run the theatre.
The deal includes a 35-year lease and a grant of £511,250 to be paid to Mayflower Academy Ltd over two years.
Hopefully this news is the beginning of a new lease of life for the MAST Mayflower Studios and lots of successful productions.
Words by Orla McAndrew.
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