The Exchange Theatre charity, theatre and cafe bar, in North Shields will be closing on Monday, April 17.

The venue has been instructed by North Tyneside Council, who own the building, that it has appointed a preferred provider to be a new long-term leaseholder for the Saville Exchange building.

The charity that has been operating from the building for seven years but according to North Tyneside Council, it has no option but to close.

Despite negotiations with the new provider, The Exchange Theatre is unable to use the theatre auditorium or other spaces to provide a programme of creative and cultural activities.

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Over the last seven years it has welcomed hundreds of artists, singers, musicians and theatre companies for various productions, events and exhibitions. From Lindisfarne to Robson Green, the theatre has been a unique venue, providing a space for culture within North Tyneside, and championing accessibility within the arts.

The Exchange Theatre is inviting people to share their memories of the venue to help create a digital scrapbook that can be kept and shared. More information can be found on the website.

There will be a a goodbye party on Saturday, April 15.

This will be a celebration of the achievements over the last seven years complete with an open mic of spoken word, poetry, and music.

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In addition, there will be a sale of items including costumes, stage and technical equipment, furniture and art.

The Exchange Theatre is a multipurpose venue that hosts quality shows at affordable prices.

Actors and theatre groups on Tyneside, but also across the whole North East have expressed their sadness and disappointment of the impending closure.

Lewis Matthews, actor and director of Northumberland Theatre Company (NTC), said: Great venue, lovely people. NTC has played there for the last five years and it’s always been such a positive experience. A huge loss to the town.”

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Lucy Sutton, actor and drama teacher said: “Amazing venue. Performed Chicago there and it was amazing. The intimacy of it creates an outstanding atmosphere. We were supposed to be performing a concert there in May that we had almost sold out and we now have no venue and tickets being refunded.

“I believe our leaflets and flyers have already been printed so if that’s the case we are now out of pocket for an event that was supposed to fundraise for Whitley Bay Operatic Society. We’re devastated and now in crisis mode as we try to find an alternative.”

Helen Franks, an actor from Middlesbrough who played Spirit of The Ring in Aladdin at The Exchange, said: “I did panto there, beautiful venue. It will be such a loss for the town.”

Whitley Bay Operatic Society will now either have to find an alternative venue for its concert, From West End to Whitley Bay, scheduled for May 19-20, or cancel the show.