CAMPAIGNERS bidding to save the Artrix theatre hope to present a petition with 5,000 signatures to council chiefs in an appeal to get them on board.

The online petition, created by Rory Shannon, chair of the Bromsgrove Labour Party, has been signed by more than 4,000 people since the much-loved arts venue went into insolvency last month.

It asks the council to take over the Artrix, which was forced to close permanently in April, partly due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Shannon is seeking more signatures so he can present the petition to Bromsgrove District Council once lockdown restrictions ease to allow the authority to resume meetings.

He added: "I thought a good way to gauge public support for Bromsgrove District Council taking the Artrix back in house would be a petition.

"I had no idea how popular the idea would be and, in under 24 hours, more than 1,000 people signed. I suspect we can get close to 5,000 signatures within a few weeks.

"I would encourage residents to sign my petition, but then also share by email or/and on social media.

"The Artrix is an important part of our town’s cultural infrastructure, it must be properly managed and financed.

"With the UK’s economy about to take a massive hit, our arts centre must re-open and have the backing from the local council it needs to survive and grow.

"Please can I also encourage Bromsgrove residents to write to their local councillor and our MP.

"We must show Bromsgrove Council that Bromsgrove residents want our arts centre open as soon as possible, with a bright and secure future, council-run, so we don’t have a repeat of the current situation."

The council, which leases the Slideslow Drive building to the charity, has previously told the Advertiser it cannot legally take over the Artrix because it no longer exists due to insolvency.

It added, however, that it would be working to secure the future of the building and explore possible options for a new arts venue there if 'commercially viable'.