Weymouth Pavilion has been told: “There is no more money to bail you out”.

Councillors have turned down a request for an extra £60,000 funding throwing the future of the theatre into doubt yet again.

They say they want to put a stop to the ‘Oliver Twist’ effect which has been created by the Weymouth theatre’s poor financial performance.

A divided Weymouth and Portla-nd Borough Council management committee voted to reject the theatre’s request for an extra £60,000 for the next financial year following a heated debate.

Councillor Peter Farrell urged members of the committee to reject the request and use the money to support disabled people who have had their disability living allowances cut.

Theatre supporters said the refusal to provide the funding could put the theatre in jeopardy.

Councillor Amanda Legg said: “Every year we end up with the Oliver Twist effect, which is ‘Please Sir, can we have some more?’ “I don’t think it’s down to mismanageme-nt, they have been tasked with a very hard job.

“I’m not happy to put £60,000 back into it when there are other things which are equally or more important.”

A report was put forward to the council that contained a 10-point improvement plan for the Pavilion Complex over the next 18 months.

Members of the management committee agreed that action should be taken to bring the financial performance of the Pavilion back in line with a business case adopted in October 2010 to achieve a 75 per cent reduction in combined net service costs over four years.

In 2014 this is supposed to be reduced from £512,044 in 2010 to £128,148 in 2014.

Finance spokesman Peter Chapman said the Pavilion’s current business plan is ‘not achievable’ and there is an overspend of £121,000.

Councillor Andy Blackwood, the council’s culture, tourism and community spokesman, said the budget that was set for the Pavilion was not a realistic budget.

Council leader Mike Goodman said: “I’m concerned that we’re going to go on year after year saying ‘we will be able to achieve it next year’ and we don’t achieve it.”

Speaking after the meeting, Councillor Peter Farrell said he was pleased the committee had refused the request.

“For the first time in 18 years they have made a choice about saving money. We have to think whether we want to support disabled people or the Pavilion.

“My argument has been that we can’t underwrite the Pavilion with a bottomless pit of money.”

Dance school leader Julie Storey, a member of the Pavilion User Group, said she still feels the theatre has a future.

“I don’t think I would be the only one chaining myself to the front of the building if they were trying to bulldoze the Pavilion.

“If they need £60,000 then they need £60,000, maybe they could look at other means of bringing it in.”

John Stockley, former deputy stage manager, said: “I still think they are trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes and want the Pavilion closed.

“The argument about using the money for disabled people is trying to tug at the heart strings and I think it’s a bit of a ploy.”

'No Guarantees'

A ROSE Royce concert at Weymouth Pavilion at the weekend sold fewer than 100 tickets which were priced at £17.50 each.

The theatre has a capacity of an audience of 450 sitting down and 1,000 people standing up.

Seventies band Rose Royce, a 1970s American disco band featuring the voice of Gwen Dickey, had chart hits including Car Wash and Wishing On a Star, which has been covered by the X Factor finalists and is at number one in the charts.

Andy Blackwood, council spokesman for leisure, said: “Unfortunately, while many people have welcomed the variety of acts now at the Pavilion, we cannot guarantee a sell out for all events.”