The collapse of the Epstein Theatre has left Liverpool City Council with a £685,000 debt.
Liverpool City Council is expected to pay around £700,000 to the Epstein Theatre’s administrators.
The council’s cabinet will meet later this week to approve the £685,816.26 payment as well as preliminary arrangements for the reopening of the theatre under new management.
The Epstein, which is owned by the municipality but operated by Epstein Theatre Limited under a lease, engaged administrators in 2017, which led to the uncovering of a massive fraud case.
Wayne Rooney was photographed sleeping next to two ladies, which drew the attention of the police.
Kelvin Lloyd, the theatre’s assistant manager, was sentenced to two years and four months in prison in 2019 after being found guilty of stealing £273,000 from the venue.
The council later attempted to transfer the theatre’s lease to a new operator, but that effort was met with threats of legal action, according to a report to cabinet, driving up the administrator’s expenses even more.
“There were various challenges with the transfer procedure, including threats of litigation from the prior operator, which greatly hampered the transfer and raised the administrative fees for which LCC is now liable,” according to the study.
LCC Audit has assessed these costs, which total £568,506.06. (net).
“The scheduled move was canceled because to the advent of the Covid epidemic in early 2020. Covid-19 has ordered the administrators to close the theater and refund advance ticket sales.”
The total cost rises from £568,506.06 to £685,816.26 when including the VAT the council must pay, however this can be reclaimed at a later date.
The move has been authorized in principle by Regeneration Commissioner Deborah McLaughlin, according to the article, and the audit committee will conduct an investigation into how the situation at the Epstein occurred.
Epstein Entertainments Limited, the new operator, is a joint venture between Regal Entertainments, which owns and operates the Theatre Royal in St Helens, and Bill Elms Promotions, a long-established Liverpool theatre promotion company.
According to the story, they want to reopen the theater in the autumn and rehire all of the employees who were laid off.
The cabinet of the council will meet on Friday to discuss the recommendations.