The theatre, which underwent a £5.5 million refit in 2001, and was re-opened by Sir Sean Connery, was originally used as a cow shed, has been hosting shows since the 1930s.
The announcement comes after days of speculation about the theatre’s future on social networking sites, and has been blamed on the rising costs since the reopening of the new theatre, and on the loss of valuable funding from the Scottish Arts Council, which is now part of Creative Scotland. These recent funding cuts also lead the theatre to stop producing its own work, although it has been in demand as a touring venue in recent years.
Tonight’s performance of The Sound of Music-als (Saturday, 26th January) will go ahead as planned at the venue, while a charity event hosted by Jenny King Dance Academy (30th and 31st January) will also take place at the theatre. The Byre is expected to close its doors after the performance on Thursday night (31st January) and the Fife Jazz Festival, which was due to take place at The Byre, will move to St Andrew’s Town Hall. As of this morning, a ‘Save The Byre’ campaign has appeared on both Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SaveTheByreTheatre) and Twitter (@SaveTheByre).
The news of The Byre’s closure comes on the same day that it was announced that community arts funding across the Lothians is to be cut in an effort to save £132,000. The Brunton Theatre in Musselburgh is said to be facing job losses after it was announced that they were to lose £50,000 in funding overthe next two years. The Brunton, which was opened by the Queen Mother in 1971, recently underwent a £3.4 million refurbishment.