THEATRES are “in peril” and action must be taken to save culture in Workington, according to a town councillor.

Michael Heaslip, Allerdale and Workington Town councillor, hopes to see more funding for hard-hit theatres in the town.

In a motion to Workington Town Council, coun Heaslip has proposed funding to venues like The Carnegie Theatre to the tune of £100 per seat.

He said: “They’ve all been closed since last March when other business have been able to open up.

“Theatres and live venues right across the country weren’t even able to open when we were out of the first lockdown.”

Mr Heaslip adds in his motion that the council has “significant” underspends due to the cancellation of events during Covid-19.

“It would be wrong to hold onto underspends while valued parts of the town’s cultural infrastructure are in peril.”

Coun Heaslip believes that if the town council does not support culture in the town it may lose it.

“Once those facilities are gone you don’t just start another one up. When you think of all the theatres in Workington, amateur dramatics, amateur operatics, bands and Christmas events, if you let that sink it’s gone forever.”

He adds that the arts are important to society, “particularly in Workington.”

Mr Heaslip said: “Where else do you get three theatres in a town of Workington’s size? It’s very important to the identity of this town.”

Venues such as The Carnegie and Theatre Royal received grants from The Culture Recovery Fund in August but Mr Heaslip feels they need more help. Mr Heaslip has proposed that the council fund the above, along with Moorclose Theatre “at a rate of £100 per installed seat capacity for the current financial year.”

Moorclose Theatre holds a capacity of 230 seats, Theatre Royal holds 149 and the Carnegie holds 306 seats. Funding for a total of 685 seats at a rate of £100 per seat would cost the council £68,500 from underspends.

The Culture Recovery Fund from the Government has provided a £3.1 million boost to the Cumbrian arts and culture sector. Managing director of Cumbria Tourism Gill Haigh said: "Our county has an exceptional cultural offer, and this funding is absolutely vital to maintaining the brilliantly creative and inspiring arts and cultural organisations we have in Cumbria."