RESIDENTS have reacted to news that a plan to build a 500-seat theatre has been capped in favour of a much smaller venue amid budget constraints.

Readers have been sharing their thoughts on the situation on Worcester News Facebook Page. 

Worcester City Council has revealed it is pulling the plug on current plans for the listed Scala Theatre in Angel Place in Worcester and will instead look to build a 300-seat venue after seeing the gap in the budget rocket to £3.5 million since the start of the year.

The project, which was being funded by nearly £18 million in government Future High Street Fund money, has been drastically reduced ever since the money was awarded in 2020 and now the city council is struggling to carry out the cornerstone Scala work.

You can read more about it here.

Ben Merrick said: "Put the money into the Swan.

"A perfectly good theatre with a great hard working team, already has a following in the community.

READ MORE: Labour promise review into Scala Theatre fiasco

"Just needs some money spent on it and it would be just what the city needs."

Other readers agreed with this and Julia Jones said: "They should be investing in the Swan Theatre rather than resurrecting an old one.

"A theatre needs to be fit for many styles of show and this isn’t it!!"

However, Steve Horne said: "Such a shame.. after all the redevelopment of that area another one bites the dust..such an interesting building.

"Worcester just doesn't learn and will probably turn it into a Barbers."

However, one reader said the theatre could be turned into a music venue.

Jim Flynn said: "Worcester could do with a decent venue for music. Might actually get bands coming to the city on tour instead of Wolverhampton, Birmingham or Gloucester."

Several other commenters said the decision was disappointing.

Frazer Bufton said: "This is a real shame. It would have provided a real boost to the city centre and have been a real catalyst for a much-needed regeneration of the area.

"I appreciate that budgets are very stretched at the moment but it does feel very short-sighted."

But others were not interested in the new theatre and said the money and building could be put into something much better.

Fhirkha Wulffren said: "Can we put the money we would have used for that into something useful, like helping the homeless, or something??

"Maybe instead of a theatre make more affordable housing or something.

"Maybe we could use the money to remove the disgusting anti-homeless architecture that's appeared in Worcester over the past few years."