LCC to debate sale of community theatre

THE POTENTIAL sale by Lismore City Council of the Rochdale Theatre building in Goonellabah will be debated by the council next Tuesday night.

The Ballina Rd building has been used by the Lismore Theatre Company (LTC) since 1974 and any sale would put the company's future at risk.

In a letter to council, LTC president Jenny Hicks said the theatre was "one of the only community-based theatrical resources" in the city of Lismore and offered opportunities for amateurs to develop skills in the arts.

She said if the community lost access to theatre, "the outcome will be not only the demise of the Lismore Theatre Company, but also a significant erosion of Lismore's 'cultural hub'."

Council has not yet valued the property but Ms Hicks said during its tenancy the theatre company had spent $214,000 on transforming the building from a "bare hall" to a functioning theatre.

Council papers state that continuing with the existing arrangement with LTC would have "budget implications" for the council, but any sale could include the LTC as a possible buyer.