Lincoln Theatre Royal sold after previous owner goes into administration
Lincoln Theatre Royal has been sold after its previous owner found itself in thousands of pounds of debt.
The theatre, in Clasketgate, has been bought by a new company called LTR Trading Limited.
It comes after its previous owner, Lincoln Theatre Limited, was placed into administration.
It is hoped the move will secure the future of the venue.
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However, it is claimed that some of the debt is "unlikely" to ever be paid off by the former owner.
Administrator Richard Saville, of business recovery experts Begbies Traynor Group, said: "I can confirm the assets of Lincoln Theatre Limited have been sold.
"Whether or not Lincoln Theatre Limited itself comes out of administration in due course – it is a case of maybe, maybe not.
"There is still a possibility Lincoln Theatre Limited could go into liquidation.
"There are several creditors of Lincoln Theatre Limited and at this stage I would say it is unlikely they will see their money again."
Records held by Companies House show Lincoln Theatre Limited was served with two County Court Judgements earlier this year.
One was for £2,812 and the other was for £6,547.
The theatre currently employs 12 full-time staff.
The chief executive of the theatre – and director of beleaguered Lincoln Theatre Limited – Ian Dickens, told the Echo last week: "The recession has been hard on all theatres and at times it has been difficult to keep our heads above water following some cost over-runs on our refurbishment.
"I believe the new owners' commitment to live theatre is demonstrated by the establishment of a repertory company able to produce new plays regularly to keep the theatre live and vibrant.
"I believe this sale provides the best outcome for all concerned. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
"There will no longer be big names such as Michael McIntyre coming to Lincoln but there will be a real emphasis on plays every night of the week. Some of these will feature local schools and that can only be a good thing.
"There are no jobs at risk at the theatre."
Speaking this week in response to claims that creditors would not be paid back, Mr Dickens added: "As the former owner, we are hoping to pay our creditors back. We are paying as we go. My intention is to get everyone paid and settled somewhere down the line – I cannot say when."
Mr Dickens is one of two directors of Lincoln Theatre Limited. The other is current theatre technical director Ian Marston.
Spokesperson for new owners LTR Trading Limited, Daniel Boyall, said: "We regard the purchase of Lincoln's Royal as an exciting opportunity to be involved in the local community and we are committed to keeping live theatre in the city."
In April, the Echo reported how acts which had performed at the theatre were still waiting to be paid. This week a member of a local amateur dramatics society, who wished to remain unnamed, told the Echo: "We are owed several thousands of pounds. We still have not received the money. I understand there are other people in a similar position."