CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save a theatre from closure have devised a plan for its survival.

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save a theatre from closure have devised a plan for its survival.

Brampton Little Theatre, located at RAF Brampton, is listed for demolition to make way for a housing development when the base is sold off by the Ministry of Defence in 2013.

But Caroline Harbord, secretary of the Brampton Park Theatre Company, is helping in the fight for the building's future and said there was no need for the theatre to be demolished as it could become a cost-neutral hub for the community

"This is the only purpose built theatre in a 30-mile radius," she told The Hunts Post. "Rather than demolish it, we want to turn it into an arts centre, incorporating an arts cinema, function rooms, a creche, coffee bar and exhibition space.

"We envisage the theatre being used by clubs, societies, schools and community groups, and it could even be used as an unusual wedding venue, with wedding cere-monies taking place on the stage and the congregation in the auditorium.

"We have drawn up a business plan, which is based on the 100 member theatres of the Little Theatres Guild, all of which operate in profit.

"I am confident that we could be both an asset for the people of Brampton and self-sustainable."

Ms Harbord added: "We're talking about much more than just a theatre. The theatre building, which incorporates the current Airmen's Mess, is big enough to provide a terrific resource for Brampton and would provide facilities for all sections of the community.

"In the current era of cuts, there is little chance any new theatres are going to be built, and it would be a tragedy to lose the one we've already got."

Defence Estates, which manages the site on behalf of the MoD, has drawn up plans that include demolishing the theatre and replacing it with housing or a small community centre, though the proposals were not popular with council planners.

The campaigners, including long-time theatre user Amy Burt, have described this as a "stupid idea" and have the backing of the director of the Theatres Trust, Mhora Samuel, who in June wrote to Huntingdonshire District Council to point out the importance of the theatre to the community.

HDC has been holding a public consultation on an urban design framework for the RAF site. This closes on Friday.

Councillor Doug Dew, chairman of HDC's development management panel, said: "The development guidance for this site will be considered very carefully, taking into account all the comments and views we have received during the consultation period, to ensure the best option is taken forward."