Arts venue The Citadel to close this summer

The Citadel
The Citadel

The region's cultural scene has been rocked by the news well-known arts venue The Citadel in St Helens is closing.


The bombshell was delivered on the Citadel Arts Centre website in a blog by chief executive Fay Lamb.

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Ms Lamb admitted the closure of the venue, which is a popular venue both for touring acts and local groups and has also hosted a fair number of showbiz A-listers, on June 30 would come as a shock to many music and culture fans but the sums simply did not add up any longer.

Fund-raising more than £1.2m and maximising revenue had not been enough in the face of decreasing arts funding, the board of trustees have been forced to conclude.

However, The Citadel's name will live on by transforming into an agency organisation delivering theatre to children and families.

That does, though, mean the shutting of the building on Waterloo Street which has been the scene of many memorable cultural and arts events.

Ms Lamb wrote: "‘As a responsible business the Citadel must look at financial and artistic trends to ensure the vital activities of the Citadel Arts Centre Charity continue for the audiences and participants who benefit.

"It’s incredibly sad to be losing an iconic venue which local people regard with such fondness. I’m proud of everything the Citadel has achieved and I’m confident we can go on to different and better performance and participation programmes in the town with support from our partners.

"Closing the Citadel building is a necessary heartache if it means the fantastic work of the Citadel can continue for years to come for the people of St Helens.

"Since opening 30 years ago the Citadel has helped to foster a real creative energy in the town which is now continuing with Heart of Glass, Cultural Hubs and the new Citadel Agency.

"The landlords of the Citadel building, The Rainford Trust, have been incredibly supportive of the Citadel charity and remain supportive of the new Agency plans.

"There are no words to describe how it will feel to close the doors of the Citadel building for the final time. I would personally like to thank all the amazing Citadel staff, audiences and participants who have loved and supported the Citadel for the past 30 years.”

The Citadel has been working with St Helens Council and other organisations to develop its future arts programmes.

A crowd-funding campaign to support its ongoing work has been set up at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/citadel